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OPEC plans production cut to force up oil prices
( 2001-07-24 09:22 ) (7 )

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries secretary general Ali Rodriguez said Monday OPEC's meeting in early August is to "agree a production cut of between 1 million and 1.5 million barrels" per day, in remarks made on state television.

The extraordinary session -- to be attended by ministers from OPEC nations August 6-7 in Vienna, according to the official Algerian press agency APS -- is to "stop the fall (in prices) that has become very pronounced in the last few days," Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez warned that the drop in prices could take oil "very far below 22 dollars" a barrel, speaking on VTV television.

The widely expected announcement came in response to falls last week in oil prices which reflected a global economic slowdown in industrialized countries, resumed exports by Iraq, and increased levels of US crude stocks.

Rodriguez also said that a cut in production would serve to "halt the extremely high levels of speculation there is at the moment."

In London, the price of oil rallied early on Monday as the OPEC oil exporting cartel signaled that it could cut output as early as next month.

Brent North Sea crude for September delivery rose 46 cents to US$25.10 a barrel, while in New York the light sweet crude August contract rose 31 cents to US$26.25 a barrel.

Late last week, oil prices slumped below US$24 a barrel to levels not seen for six months, as concerns over weak demand mounted.



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