|February 18, 2000|
GCC OIL MINISTERS MEET IN RIYADH TO UNIFY THEIR POSITIONS.
NO DECISION HAS BEEN TAKEN YET BY THE US TO PUMP SOME OF ITS STRATEGIC RESERVES INTO THE MARKET.
The oil ministers of the six Gulf Cooperation Council will meet on February 23, in Riyadh ahead of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries conference in Vienna at the end of March.
The oil ministers of GCC member states will discuss unifying their positions to contribute to the oil market's stability. Oil resources in Abu Dhabi confirmed that the ministers would also discuss the preparations for the OPEC summit meeting scheduled to convene in September in Caracas by an invitation from the government of Venezuela.
The ministers are scheduled to discuss oil market developments and measures for renewing the production quotas at the OPEC conference.
Most GCC countries support maintaining the lower OPEC production ceiling, which lead to the rise of oil prices to reach highest records in nine years, beyond next month.
The Riyadh meeting will be attended by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain. The first four countries who are OPEC members play an important role in OPEC's decision making and strategy planning. Oman usually supports the decisions taken in the organization, and participate in some meetings as an observer.
The meeting will be held at the same time of US Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson's visit to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to discuss the latest developments in oil markets, current oil production standards and prices. US Congress members asked Richardson to talk with the prominent oil suppliers, especially OPEC members about raising production standards.
The GCC countries possess 45 percent of the world's oil reserves and provide 20 percent of the global supply.
Regarding oil prices, they leapt to new highs, as British Brent crude comfortably hurdled $ 26,65 a barrel in the oil world market in London. Sources said the raise is due to US announcement that it is not likely to pump quantities of its strategic reserves into the market in order to compensate the shortage of supply.
Richardson described the prices as high, but added that Washington has not decided yet to pump some of its strategic reserves which are estimated by 567 million barrels.