Saudi Arabia, UAE to support increasing oil production

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

OPEC headquarters in Vienna

Oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced that both countries would support raising crude oil output quotas by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The Saudi minister, Ali al-Naimi, said that rising prices were lowering world demand, and his nation 'absolutely' backs the increase, while Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli from the UAE claimed that the markets could calm on the decision.

Earlier, the OPEC cut their oil demand estimates for 2005, saying that it will rise by only 1.7%, compared to previous prediction of 1.9%.

The organisation is to meet to discuss the possible increase on September 19. If the decision take place, the official limits will be the highest since 1987.

Saudi Arabia is the OPEC's biggest crude oil producer, with production of about 9.5 million barrels a day and spare capacity of approximately 940,000 barrels. Formal daily output of whole organisation is 28 millions barrels outside Iraq, and estimated unused stocks of 1.39 million barrels.

On the London-based International Petroleum Exchange price of the Brent crude barrel fell $1.45 to $62.21 on Friday.