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Oil Buyers Expected to Lobby OPEC

September 18, 2000|Reuters

Oil-consuming nations are expected to join forces to persuade OPEC to open the taps further, fearing prices near 10-year highs could hurt economic growth and shaken by Europe-wide fuel protests by truckers and farmers. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said that the Group of 7 industrial nations would tackle oil prices at its summit in Prague this weekend. Over the weekend, OPEC's secretary-general said the cartel would raise oil output by 500,000 barrels a day if prices remain above the top end of its target range of $22 to $28 a barrel. "If during the month of October, prices remain at that high level, higher than what we want, then we would be in a position to put in an extra 500,000 barrels," Rilwanu Lukman told the BBC. But energy analysts have pointed out that the cartel's output, at 29 million barrels daily, is higher than at any time in the last 20 years and that only Saudi Arabia has any spare capacity. Oil prices closed in excess of $33 a barrel Friday.

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