OPEC: Saudi Arabia's oil minister says crude markets 'in good shape'

Saudi Arabia's oil minister said Tuesday that crude markets were "in good shape," boosting expectations OPEC will use its meeting this week to stress compliance with output quotas instead of cutting production.

The comments by Saudi Arabia's Ali Naimi, echoed by Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheik Ahmed Al Abdullah Al Sabah, were the latest indications that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is comfortable with the rebound in crude prices that came about after members announced in December a record 4.2 million barrel per day output cut from September 2008 levels, The Associated Press reports.

Kuwait's oil minister said on Tuesday current oil prices are reasonable and acceptable, and OPEC is expected to keep output unchanged when it meets on Wednesday, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA reported.

Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah told KUNA in Vienna, that OPEC will decide at its meeting on Wednesday to maintain the production ceiling. Sheikh Ahmad said he expected demand for crude oil to increase in the first half of 2010, Reuters informs.