Azerbaijan may cut oil production

December 17th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Oran (Algeria), Dec 17 (RIA Novosti) Azerbaijan is ready to slash oil output by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) announces production cuts on Wednesday, the country’s industry and energy minister said.”We have a real possibility to cut (production) by up to 300,000 barrels per day,” Natik Aliyev said.

“We currently produce 840,000 bpd and we will keep oil output in Azerbaijan at 540,000 bpd within the next few months,” he said.

Opec is scheduled to hold an extraordinary meeting in Algeria Wednesday to decide on further reductions in oil production amid weak global oil prices. The cartel is expected to decide to reduce production by some two million bpd.

World oil prices have fallen by more than 60 percent from a record high of $147 per barrel in July to under $50, as the global credit crunch has reduced demand for fuel.

Aliyev said the South Caucasus nation considered a crude price of $65-80 per barrel as fair, adding that the country could eventually join the world oil cartel.

Russia, which accounts for over 10 percent of global oil output, is also expected to support Opec’s decision on oil output cuts.

Opec President Chakib Khelil earlier had proposed inviting Russia, Norway and Mexico to join the oil cartel earlier this month.

He said these oil producing countries should show solidarity with Opec either by joining it or by cutting crude output to prevent global oil prices from falling.

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