IEA Chief Urges OPEC Against More Output Cuts

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 16, 2009

The International Energy Agency on Monday urged OPEC nations against cutting oil production further when they meet next month.

"If OPEC is aiming at rapid increases by cutting supply maybe it would not be good for economic recovery. We think OPEC countries should take a closer look at the market and make a flexible decision," IEA chief Nobuo Tanaka told reporters here on the sidelines of an energy conference.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet March 15 in Vienna.

Some of the group's traditional price-hawks like Venezuela have recently said OPEC should consider more output cuts to pull crude prices higher.

Tanaka said the IEA, energy watchdog to big oil consuming nations like the U.S., currently expects global oil demand to rebound next year with growth of one million barrels a day, or roughly 1%, forecast.

The projection, which is in stark contrast to the IEA's 2009 forecast for crude consumption to fall globally by one million barrels a day, is based on the International Monetary Fund's gross domestic product projections.

The IEA, however, will revise down its 2010 forecast if the IMF reduces its GDP projection, Tanaka said.  

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