Opec seeks to ensure stable oil prices
Rome 4th October 2001--
Opec President Chakib Khelil
said on Thursday the oil cartel was reluctant to cut production, despite falling
prices, prior to any U.S. military action that could drive prices upwards again.
'Our objective is to make sure that we don't enhance any price
increase that could result from the attack, if there is one,' Khelil told
Reuters in Rome during a week-long visit to Italy. 'We don't want to make a
decision just before that happens,' he added.
oil prices have slumped by about 20 percent since the
September 11 attacks on the United States.
Opec's oil basket price has now spent eight consecutive days
below the cartel's $22-$28 per barrel target range.
'Military action could have a big impact on prices. Prices
will definitely increase – but we don't know how much they will increase,'
'Our objective is to stabilize prices,' he added.
oil markets needed time to absorb Opec's three output cuts so
far this year, the last of which took effect on September 1, which had already
dealt with oversupply, Khelil said.