Rodriguez Urges Russia, Norway to Maintain Production Cuts

OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez called on non-OPEC countries including Russia and Norway to maintain reduced export levels and reiterated that OPEC is likely to keep its own production quotas unchanged at the June 26th meeting.

"Prices are well within the OPEC range of 22-28 dollars a barrel," Rodriguez told the cartel's OPECNA news agency, while voicing concerns about the global economic situation in the second quarter. "These indications point to the need for OPEC to exercise caution, which will likely result in us keeping our present production ceiling unchanged at our June meeting," he said.

Rodriguez also appealed to non-OPEC countries to maintain their curbs. "It is imperative for all producers, whether inside or outside OPEC, to continue to exercise care in their production policies," he said, adding: "Prices do not discriminate among producers. If production is increased to push the market out of balance, then all will suffer."

Norway said last month it will probably raise its oil production as of July 1, while concern that Russia will not extend its commitment has been fueled by a deal with the US to guarantee oil supplies amid Middle East uncertainty. Non-OPEC producers agreed to cut their exports by 500,000 barrels per day in December in a deal to revive oil prices which slumped sharply amid global economic slowdown fears.