Saudi Arabia May Increase Oil Output

Monday, October 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia will increase output by itself to bring down prices if fellow members of OPEC failed to take such a step, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Sunday.

But Naimi said that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries preffered to act in unison. He was speaking while attending an oil conference in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter and producer, has an extra capacity of some 2 million barrels per day. Beside the United Arab Emirates, which has additional capacity of 500,000 barrels, all other OPEC producers are believed to be pumping at maximum levels.

OPEC said in June that it would increase output by 500,000 barrels if the OPEC basket of crudes remained over $28 per barrel for more than 20 consecutive trading days.

The OPEC basket averaged $32.57 a barrel Thursday, marking the ninth consecutive day that the basket price exceeded the target. The cartel's so-called price-band mechanism could be activated at the end of the month if prices remained high.