Opec to raise quotas in Feb

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Opec to raise quotas in Feb
(Bloomberg)17 December 2007

NEW YORK — Opec, producer of more than 40 per cent of the world’s crude oil, may increase output quotas when it meets on February 1 because stronger demand is expected during the winter season, Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said.

“The forecasts now point toward a cold winter, and the economy seems to be improving. That means stronger demand” for oil, Khelil said yesterday in an interview in Limassol, Cyprus.

“The chances that we could decide to increase output are greater than reducing output.”

The Algerian oil official will become the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries president on the first of the year for a 12-month term. Venezuela’s Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said earlier this month that the oil exporters group may decide to reduce output when it meets in February to discuss output policy at its headquarters in Vienna.

Oil prices in New York closed in New York on December 14 at $91.27 a barrel, up more than 4 per cent since Opec decided to keep production quotas unchanged at its December 5 meeting.

Opec’s production ceiling now stands at 29.673 million barrels a day for 12 of its members.

War-torn Iraq is the only member without a quota.

Khelil is in Cyprus this week to attend a conference of European and Mediterranean energy ministers which starts tomorrow.

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