2004 News Story

Oil minister comments on OPEC decision to raise output

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, arriving in Damascus today from Beirut, commented on the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase output by nearly two million barrels per day in July and another half a million early in August. OPEC's primary goal, he said, is to keep the oil market stable by maintaining prices that are fair for the producer, the consumer and the investor. The secondary goal is to prevent a negative impact on the growth of the global economy, particularly in the more developed countries where there can be the greatest damage from high prices. OPEC therefore seeks to maintain a price range of U.S. $22 to $28 a barrel. While affirming that increased production should reduce the current rocketing prices, Minister Al-Naimi noted that there could be no guarantee, since several other factors are involved.