Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said yesterday there was no proposal to hold an extraordinary meeting of the oil cartel OPEC in the light of falling prices.
“There is no proposal to hold an extraordinary OPEC meeting,” he told reporters at the ninth Arab Energy Conference in Doha.
Oil prices have fallen sharply since last Monday as the US dollar struck 14-month highs against the euro on worries about the impact of a Greek debt crisis on the eurozone.
On Friday, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery next month, shed US$2 to US$75.11 a barrel. The price rose to an 18-month high of US$87.15 last Monday. Brent North Sea crude for delivery next month slid US$1.56 to US$78.27.
Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said OPEC won’t need to take any action in response to the debt emergency that started in Greece. Prices have dropped because of “uncertainty on the market and the economy,” Khelil said in Doha on Saturday.
Asked if he expected OPEC to take steps to prevent further declines, he said: “I don’t think so.”
“Oil is likely to trade in a band of US$80 to US$85 a barrel,” he said. “There is plenty of oil, the stocks are high.”
The ministers’ statements followed a call on Saturday by his Kuwaiti counterpart for OPEC to meet ahead of its scheduled conference in October if oil prices slide below US$65 per barrel.
Asked when OPEC should act and at what price level, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah said “when oil price falls below 65” US dollars a barrel.
His Emirati counterpart, Mohammad bin Dhaen al-Hamli, attributed a slide in oil prices to what he called a “price correction.”
“What has been taking place is a correction ... prices are going up and down,” Hamli told reporters, adding that oil prices were being driven by market forces.
Both ministers are in Doha for the ninth Arab Energy Conference that started yesterday.
Oil prices are down 9 percent since March 17, when OPEC agreed to uphold existing output quotas for a fifth time since 2008. Members are exceeding those allocations by about 2 million barrels a day.