Opec rules out further output rise

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The Independent Online

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries will not increase in its output targets until at least late October, its Secretary General Rilwanu Lukman said today.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries will not increase in its output targets until at least late October, its Secretary General Rilwanu Lukman said today.

On a visit to Indonesia, he said Opec wanted first to see the market's reaction to a scheduled 800,000-barrel-a-day increase effective from 1 October.

If prices remain above the Opec basket price band of 22 to 28 dollars a barrel, he said, then another increase in output targets late October would be possible before the organisation's next ministerial meeting in Vienna on 12 November.

"We don't even have to have a meeting," he said.

OPEC's price-band mechanism would trigger a 500,000 barrel-a-day increase if the average price of seven OPEC crudes remains above

28 dollars a barrel for 20 consecutive trading days beginning 1 October.

Lukman also said he did not think United Sattes should make any releases from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He said: "There is no shortage of oil on all accounts. Even in experts' and analysts' opinions, there is no shortage of oil."

Lukman blamed recent high oil prices on speculation in the futures markets, high taxation on petroleum products in consuming countries and a shortage of the more highly demanded light crudes.

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