OPEC considers boosting output, no decision yet: Kuwait

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2011 10:43 AM
OPEC considers boosting output, no decision yet: Kuwait

KUWAIT (Reuters) - OPEC is in consultations regarding a potential boost in oil output but hasn't decided whether to approve one, Kuwait's Oil Minister said on Tuesday.

"We are in consultations about a potential output increase," Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told reporters as he entered Kuwait's parliament.

Asked if Kuwait has been increasing its own oil production, Al-Sabah said, "We did not increase production, sticking to quotas."

However, Al-Sabah said he believed Saudi Arabia was already boosting production in response to the supply shortfalls from OPEC member Libya, whose bloody conflict has slashed production.

Al-Sabah gave no timeline for when OPEC could decide on any group-wide production boost or whether ministers would convene soon to discuss output policy.

Brent oil futures traded down on Tuesday, falling 1.2 percent to $113.70 a barrel as of 629 GMT. They fell by around $1 a barrel following the Kuwaiti comments about a potential OPEC supply boost.

Separately on Tuesday, Qatar's oil minister Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada said "oil inventories and production are at an acceptable level globally." He said OPEC and non-OPEC countries would step in to make up for any production lost in Libya "in a timely manner," but declined to comment on any specific plans.

The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that OPEC members including Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Nigeria have plans to boost output before April by as much as a combined 300,000 barrels a day, citing industry officials.

(Reporting by Jason Benham, Writing by Humeyra Pamuk, Editing by Joshua Schneyer)