/ 9 January 2007

Kuwait against Opec meeting to curb oil-price fall

Oil Minister Ali Jarrah al-Sabah said on Tuesday that Kuwait was opposed to holding an emergency meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to halt the slide in world oil prices.

”We do not support the holding of an emergency OPEC meeting now.

We respect our commitment to reduce [production] from the start of February,” the minister told reporters.

”Most of our colleagues in Opec do not want an emergency meeting now. We met at Abuja and our agreement was clear,” he said.

The 11-nation organisation, agreed at a meeting last month in the Nigerian capital to cut output by 500 000 barrels per day (bpd) from February.

This followed Opec’s reduction of 1,2-million bpd that became effective in November. But unseasonably warm winter weather in the northern hemisphere and slowing US growth have reduced demand and brought down prices.

Oil prices slid back to levels unseen since 2005 in Asian trade on Tuesday. — Sapa-AFP