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OPEC official says no plans to change output

By Staff
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HOUSTON, May 3 (Reuters) OPEC has no plans to alter its oil production policy before its June meeting in Caracas and has received no proposals from any of its members for such a change, the group's acting secretary general said.

''There are no plans to change production and no one has suggested any change,'' Mohammed Barkindo told Reuters.

Oil prices have soared by nearly 20 dollars per barrel to over 70 dollars per barrel since OPEC's last formal meeting in mid-March, fueled by tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear program.

Attacks by militants on oil production facilities in Nigeria have also raised the specter of a world oil shortage given the limited spare oil production capacity.

''OPEC is playing its role. We have been very proactive and very constructive since this oil bull run started. But we don't control all of the factors,'' Barkindo said.

OPEC ministers, including Saudi Arabia's Ali Naimi, have acknowledged that they are powerless to affect world oil prices.

OPEC itself has only 2 million barrels per day of spare production capacity, some of which is in strife torn Nigeria, Barkindo noted.

OPEC ministers are scheduled to discuss production policy at the meeting in Venezuela on June 1.

REUTERS DKS RN0700

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