OPEC to decide output level in September (Lead)

June 22nd, 2008 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Jeddah, June 22 (DPA) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decide any change in its output in its September meeting, OPEC President Chakib Khelil said Sunday in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah, where a global summit was discussing soaring oil prices. Khelil, who is also Algeria’s Minister of Energy, told the Dubai-based al-Arabya news broadcaster that OPEC would have to wait until its ministers meet in September to take a decision on any change in output.

Asked whether the organization would announce an output increase during the Jeddah meeting, which brings together oil consumers and producers, Khelil said the summit was not an OPEC meeting.

“The Saudi government called the meeting in Jeddah. We are here to discuss the issue of prices. There is no problem in supply,” Khelil said.

Last week, Khelil told DPA that OPEC was not likely to increase output as “supply exceeds demand by 500,000 barrels per day and inventories of consumer countries are meeting demand.”

Consumers and producers are divided over the cause of soaring oil prices, which have reached nearly $140 per barrel.

Consumer countries, led by the US, blame price surges on insufficient supplies.

Producers complain that market speculation is driving prices up and want western countries to improve regulation of trading in oil futures and call for increased investment in global refining capacity.

Kuwait will raise its oil output if the market needs it, its oil minister told reporters Sunday in Jeddah.

Kuwait is one of few members of the 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.

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