OPEC PRES­I­DENT SEES EMER­GENCY MEET­ING IN MARCH

Resource Digest - - NEWS -

OPEC pres­i­dent Em­manuel Ibe Kachikwu has said that he ex­pects an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing of the oil car­tel in “early March” to ad­dress nose-div­ing crude prices. “We did say that if it (the price) hits the 35 (dol­lar per bar­rel), we will be­gin to look (at)... an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing,” said Kachikwu, who is Nige­rian min­is­ter for pe­tro­leum re­sources.

The prices have hit lev­els that ne­ces­si­tate a meet­ing, he told an en­ergy fo­rum in Abu Dhabi, but added that he had not yet con­firmed with fel­low OPEC min­is­ters if they would be will­ing to at­tend. The US crude oil price tum­bled below $31 a bar­rel, ex­tend­ing a sell-off that has pushed it to more than 12-year lows amid a global sup­ply glut, a strong dol­lar and tepid de­mand. Saudi-led Gulf ex­porters within OPEC have so far re­fused to cut pro­duc­tion to curb slid­ing prices, seek­ing to pro­tect their mar­ket share de­spite a heavy blow to their rev­enues.

Kachikwu said that mem­ber states dif­fer on the is­sue of in­ter­ven­tion. “One group feels there is a need to in­ter­vene. The other group feels even if we did, we are only 30 to 35 per­cent of the pro­duc­ers re­ally,” as 65 per cent of sup­ply comes from NON-OPEC coun­tries, he said at the Gulf In­tel­li­gence UAE En­ergy Fo­rum. “Un­less you have this 65 per cent (of) pro­duc­ers com­ing back to the ta­ble you re­ally won’t make any dra­matic dif­fer­ence,” he added. US bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) for Fe­bru­ary de­liv­ery was down around 2.8 per cent, at $30.54 per bar­rel, in Asian trade. Euro­pean bench­mark Brent North Sea crude fell 3.1 per cent, to $30.57. The last time prices were so low for WTI was in De­cem­ber 2003 and in April 2004 for Brent.

EM­MANUEL IBE KACHIKWU, OPEC

PRES­I­DENT

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