UAE will boost oil output 'if necessary'


Opec-member the United Arab Emirates is ready to boost oil output if necessary, UAE Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hamli said today.

The UAE is one of the few members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) capable of increasing its output. Under pressure from consumers to act to tame record oil prices, Opec's top producer Saudi Arabia announced a modest increase of 300,000 barrels per day earlier this month.

"We are always happy to put more oil in the market if the market needs more," Hamli said when asked if the UAE would raise supply with the Saudis. Hamli declined to say if the UAE planned to boost output in June.

US oil hit a record of just over $135 a barrel last week.

Opec officials have blamed factors beyond their control for high prices, such as speculation, the weak dollar and international political tension over Iran's nuclear programme.

Consuming countries such as the United States say more oil would help lower the price.

Opec had no plans to hold an emergency meeting before the group's next scheduled gathering in September, Hamli said on arrival in South Korea to attend an event.