M A I N   N E W S

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait ready to pump more oil

Jeddah, June 22
Top exporter Saudi Arabia is ready to pump more oil for the rest of the year, although that is unlikely to tame record prices, Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi said on Sunday. “I am convinced that the supply and demand balances and crude oil production levels are not the primary drivers of the current market situation and that markets are already well-supplied,” Naimi said in a speech.

Saudi Arabia has already said it will produce 9.7 million bpd in July, marking an increase in output of 550,000 bpd since May. “Apart from the short-term supply-demand balance, investors have bought into the futures markets because they believe oil supplies will be under strain for the foreseeable future.”

Naimi said such long-term fears were "badly misplaced" and that the world had enough oil resources to meet demand for “many, many decades to come”.

Kuwait will raise its oil output if the market needs it, its oil minister Mohamed Abdel-Hadi al-Alim told reporters on 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,” he said in remarks carried by the Saudi Press Agency. - Agencies

Saudi Arabia proposed on Sunday the creation of a $1 billion OPEC fund and offered $500 million in Saudi soft loans to help poor countries cope with high oil prices. Speaking at the opening of a meeting of world oil consumers and producers, King Abdullah also urged the creation of what he described as an international energy-for-the poor initiative and called on the World Bank to arrange a meeting to discuss it.

“I call for the launch of an energy-for-the-poor initiative, the purpose of which is to enable developing countries face the rising cost of energy,” he said. The Saudi King also suggested the creation of a task-force to follow up any decisions made at the Jeddah meeting and monitor the global oil market. — Reuters




No change in output till Sept: OPEC

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decide any change in its output in its September meeting, OPEC president Chakib Khelil said on Sunday in 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 organisation 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 had 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.” — DPA



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