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OPEC president rules out oil output cut

Written by: Staff

ABUJA, April 3 (Reuters) OPEC is likely to keep output at near-maximum levels as oil prices are at about a barrel, within sight of record highs, the producer group's Nigerian president said on Monday.

OPEC President Edmund Daukoru, who is also Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum, said he remains committed to keeping U.S. crude between the upper s to lower s, a price range the world economy can live with.

Asked by reporters if he expected OPEC to cut its output ceiling when ministers next meet in June, Daukoru said: ''Not at this price level.'' ''Honestly, I don't see it,'' he added.

OPEC, the source of more than a third of the world's oil, agreed at a March 8 meeting to keep output near 25-year highs in a bid to lower prices and offset concern about major disruptions to supplies from Nigeria and Iran.

Prices between the upper s and lower s a barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude encourage investment in new supplies without hindering economic growth, Daukoru said.

''I have said upper 50s to lower 60s for West Texas, that's what I've always said,'' he told reporters.

U.S. crude was trading at .10 at 1347 GMT on Monday, up 47 cents on the day. Prices hit a record .85 last year.

INFORMAL TALKS OPEC ministers will consult informally at the International Energy Forum, a round table of oil producers and consumers, starting on April 22 in Doha, acting OPEC secretary general Mohammed Barkindo said on Monday.

The 11-nation group's next formal meeting is scheduled for June 1 in Caracas, Venezuela.

Daukoru's comments on the prospects for OPEC output follow similar remarks on Sunday by the oil minister for Qatar, also a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

''The price as it is now, nothing will happen,'' Qatar's Abdullah al-Attiyah said when asked about the June meeting.

The global economy could absorb oil prices of per barrel, the Qatari minister said.

Daukoru also reiterated OPEC's call for consuming countries to publish more transparent information on oil demand.


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