OPEC to pump more oil if necessary: UAE minister

Updated: 2008-01-31 07:46

ABU DHABI - A senior official of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will take every measure necessary to maintain a balance in the world oil market, including pumping more oil, Emirates News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The comments were made by the UAE Minister of Energy Mohammed bin Dhaen Al Hamli before he flew to Vienna for the oil cartel's extraordinary meeting scheduled to open on Friday, the report said.

World oil prices might remain volatile due to the current state of the global economy which is exacerbated by the mortgage crisis in the United States, Hamli said.

Demands for crude oil "usually recedes during the second quarter of the year due to seasonal factors," he added.

But he remained non-committal on whether or not OPEC would increase output in view of the current market volatility.

"Any decision to maintain or increase the current production ceiling will be based on informed opinions, studies and analyses that will be presented to the ministers," he said.

OPEC decided to leave its oil production unchanged for the time being at its 146th ministerial conference held in Abu Dhabi last month.

The oil cartel will hold an extraordinary meeting in Vienna on Friday to assess the market.

OPEC oil accounts for about 40 percent of the world's needs.

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