Al Attiyah: No further output hike before next OPEC meeting

Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah today dismissed suggestions that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might consider raising output levels to offset stubbornly high oil prices before its meeting in Vienna next month.


LONDON�Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah today dismissed suggestions that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might consider raising output levels to offset stubbornly high oil prices before its meeting in Vienna next month.

"Increasing production will not be the solution and it will not benefit OPEC," Al Attiyah is reported to have said at a meeting in Doha, where he urged the European Union (EU) to solve the issue of high taxes imposed on oil products, according to OPEC's news agency, OPECNA.

Al Attiyah stressed that European taxation policy, and not OPEC, was the "main reason" for current oil prices, adding that OPEC was prepared to ruminate on whether to increase production until the organization's Nov. 12 meeting.

"We do not want to hurry and take a hasty decision," he emphasized. "We still have enough time before the next meeting. If the market needs more oil, OPEC is ready to play its role. If prices fall, OPEC will intervene and reduce production," he explained.

Al Attiyah pointed to OPEC's meetings in 1998 in South Africa when, at a time when the oil price was low, "consumers told [OPEC] prices were subject to market forces and [OPEC] should not interfere to strike a balance between demand and supply."

"Now, with prices on the boil, the same consumers are putting pressure on the market," Al Attiyah noted.

The Qatari minister emphasized that "OPEC is working hard for a stable market and stable supply to keep prices in the $22-28/bbl band."

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