Russia can play leading role in stabilising global oil markets

Jan 22, 2003 01:00 AM

Russia can play a leading role in stabilising global oil markets as prices continue to surge amid fears of war in Iraq and a strike in Venezuela, OPEC secretary-general Alvaro Silva-Calderon said.
"Russia can now play an extremely important role," Silva-Calderon told, while urging closer co-operation between Russia and the oil cartel.

Russia, one of the world's top oil exporters but not a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, earlier this month pledged full co-operation with OPEC to boost deliveries and stem the steady rise in world prices. "Moscow expresses a permanent wish for cooperation, with the goal of stabilising the world's oil market," Silva-Calderon told.
Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov pledged Russia's cooperation during a visit to Kuwait, saying that Moscow was ready to provide Venezuela with tankers to export oil in the face of its six-week-long strike.

Silva-Calderon also urged all oil producers outside OPEC to join in on efforts to co-operate.
"Certain countries can confirm that they have reached maximum production capacity, but they can always make extra efforts," the secretary general said, commenting on Norway's refusal to increase production. Oslo said that it would not be able to increase its oil production if OPEC asked it to, saying its production had already reached full capacity.

Oil prices surged, with New York's light sweet crude for February delivery rising 11 cents higher to $ 32.37 a barrel. The price of benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil for February delivery surged 43 cents to $ 30.63 a barrel. Earlier, it had hit a two-year high of $ 31.25 a barrel.
The surge in prices wiped out any brief respite for oil consumers provided by OPEC's decision in Vienna to raise its output quota by 1.5 mm bpd from February.

Source: BDFM Publishers
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