Opec 'takes its time' in raising quotas further


Opec is taking its time in increasing output quotas by an additional 500,000 barrels per day due to global petroleum market fluctuations, according to a spokesman for the oil cartel.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed earlier this month to raise production quotas by 500,000 bpd and said it would consult on whether to increase them by a further 500,000 bpd if prices continued to rise.

"Oil prices have witnessed fluctuations on world markets in the past two days, which prompted the organisation to take its time in implementing the second increase," Mr Abdel-Rahman al-Khreiji told Kuwait's state news agency Kuna in Vienna.

The spokesman echoed recent remarks from Opec president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah, Kuwait's energy minister, that the time had not come yet to hike production quotas further.

Mr Khreiji said Opec will monitor prices and "if it finds that there is a need to interfere, the cartel president will consult with the remaining ministers to specify a date for implementing the new increase". "Pumping this increase is subject to prices remaining at levels they had reached during the Opec meeting on March 16 at about $55 to $56 per barrel," he said. - (Reuters)