Kuwait to pump more oil if market needs it

June 22nd, 2008 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Jeddah, June 22 (DPA) Kuwait will raise its oil output if the market needs it, its oil minister told reporters Sunday in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah where a global summit is set to discuss soaring oil prices. Kuwait is one of few members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that have the capacity to increase output.

“Kuwait will discuss its production policy after the Jeddah meeting. We will be able to decide whether we need to call for a closed OPEC meeting to discuss the issue,” Mohamed Abdel-Hadi al-Alim said in remarks carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Market fundamentals are not causing recent price surge, the minister said.

Consumer countries, led by the US, blame price surges on insufficient supplies. But producers argue that it is market speculation that drove oil prices to slightly below $140 per barrel.

Oil officials say with the exception of Saudi Arabia other OPEC producers have little extra capacity.

Kuwait, which produces 2.6 million barrels per day, can produce an extra 40,000 barrels until new oil fields come online, industry analysts estimate.

The United Arab Emirates has drawn out plans to increase production to four million barrels a day from the current level of 2.6 million bpd but the goal is likely to be achieved some time after 2010, according to analysts.

The Jeddah summit will be attended by ministers from 30 countries as well as senior oil executives from major oil firms.

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