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Opec seen by Attiyah keeping oil policy unless others cut first

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 18:29

[DOHA] The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries won't change policy at its next meeting unless other producers cut first, Qatar's former energy minister said.

Opec is scheduled to next meet in Vienna in June, seven months after deciding to maintain output levels and protect market share. Production by non-Opec members such as Mexico rose in February from the month before, US output is forecast to be the highest in three decades and Russian supply climbed to a post-Soviet high in January.

"Unless non-Opec producers agree to collective action, Opec won't change policy," Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, who was Qatar's energy minister from 1992 to 2011, told the Doha Energy Forum on Tuesday.

"I don't advise Opec to have an extraordinary meeting without having a concrete decision."

Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world's oil, has dropped 26 per cent since Opec's decision on Nov 27. Opec's next regular meeting is scheduled for June 5.

Opec President Diezani Alison-Madueke said in an interview with the Financial Times in February that she will call a meeting if prices keep declining. Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in Germany last week he was unaware of any plans for Opec to meet before June.

The Energy Information Administration forecast that US output will increase to 9.3 million barrels a day this year, the most since 1972. Russia produced 10.71 million barrels a day in January and Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-controlled oil company, boosted output to 2.33 million barrels a day in February from 2.25 million barrels in January.

BLOOMBERG

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