United States Asks OPEC for More Oil
Dec 1, 2000 12:00 PM, MODERN BULK TRANSPORTER STAFF
Unhappy that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided not to increase oil production before its Jan 17, 2001, meeting, officials from the United States and the European Union (EU) met with OPEC representatives in Saudi Arabia recently to try to change their minds.
US and EU representatives said the economic impact of crude oil prices running at more than $30 a barrel for the past several months was plain to see, pointing to supply shortages and the risk of price spikes this winter.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud al-Sabah said pleas for more oil would go unheard until OPEC meets again in January. However, Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi said that Saudi Arabia "is ready to raise production if there is a shortage of supply."
OPEC president Ali Rodriguez has said much of the problem of high fuel prices lies in tight refinery capacities and high fuel taxes, not in the amount of oil OPEC nations are exporting.
According to The Associated Press, US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said OPEC oil-exporting countries were wrong to restrain supply while inventories of crude oil and heating fuel were dangerously low.
"Our view is there is a supply problem," Richardson said. "Stocks of crude oil, distillates, and heating oil are much too low."
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