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OPEC official says more oil is on the way

OPEC wants to increase output by just under two million barrels a day because its members are not interested in record high prices that could trigger a recession, Acting General Secretary Shihab-Eldin Adnan was quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday.
/ Source: Reuters

OPEC wants to increase output by just under two million barrels a day because its members are not interested in record high prices that could trigger a recession, Acting General Secretary Shihab-Eldin Adnan was quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday.

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine released ahead of publication, Shihab-Eldin said OPEC members want to announce the increase at their next meeting in Vienna on September 19.

"We plan a number of measures. We will increase our production. The OPEC states with reserve capacity will participate, in particular Saudi Arabia. That will raise the OPEC production by just under 2 million barrels per day," Shihab-Eldin was quoted as saying.

"But all that will, of course, be of little use if we don't get a more efficient use of energy in countries such as the United States."

"We at OPEC are not interested at all in record prices," he added. "No one should slide into recession. Consumers have no reason to panic."

He blamed unscrupulous businessmen for exploiting the hurricane disaster in the United States to obtain higher prices.

"There are businessmen who are unscrupulous and count on energy bottlenecks from disasters, war and terror," he said. "They are responsible for about 10 to 15 percent of the current oil price."

OPEC said last week it was considering measures to help ease problems caused by Hurricane Katrina, which cut some 2 million barrels a day (bpd) of refining capacity on the U.S. Gulf coast, though output has since recovered.

The 10 OPEC members bound by formal production quotas produced 30.15 million bpd in August, slightly more than their 28 million bpd output ceiling and close to capacity.

Production exceeded the output ceiling as the figure includes output from Iraq which doesn't have a formal production quota but pumped about 2 mln bpd.

OPEC countries are Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Venezuela. They control 40 percent of world oil production and about two thirds of the world's proven oil reserves.