UAE to increase oil production as OPEC meets

The United Arab Emirates has already announced it will increase oil production this month by 400,000 barrels per day over its OPEC quota to help ease record prices.

And Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said Riyadh and OPEC aim to bring down soaring oil prices to $US22-28 a barrel.

“We are now producing at 88 per cent of our capacity,” said OPEC head Purnomo Yusgintoro, who is also the Indonesian energy minister.

“We want to contribute for the settlement of the high oil prices,” he said.

Without a supply increase, dearer oil could dramatically slow global economic growth.

He added that OPEC is now producing well above its ceiling of 23.5 million barrels per day. Output, including Iraq, is around 28 million barrels per day.

Iraqi output is not included in the quota system as the country is allowed to produce as much as it can to make up for losses incurred by past wars and the sanctions imposed during Saddam Hussein’s reign.

UAE Oil Minister Obeid bin Saif al-Nassiri said its increase is a response to client demand, “and to help contain prices on the international market and to stabilise the world economy”.

The UAE, one of only a few OPEC countries with spare production capacity, has a quota of 2.051 million bpd.

Meanwhile analysts say oil prices look set to remain above $US40 a barrel for some time to come after weekend terrorist attacks in the Saudi Arabian oil city of Khobar drove crude prices to record highs.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said here Wednesday that Riyadh and OPEC aim to bring down soaring oil prices to the price band of between 22 and 28 dollars a barrel.

OPEC producers have gathered in Beirut for a meeting overshadowed by the attack.

They are expected to agree to raise the cartels’ output, ahead of their formal meeting on Thursday.

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