OPEC should work very hard when oil price is down

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/09/18/36864.html ' target=_blank>OPEC oil producers must act to stem a recent slide in prices, either by ending cheating on quotas or by lowering the official output ceiling, Libyan Oil Minister Fathi Hamed Ben Shatwan warned.

"We were working very hard when the price went very high to the sky. Now we should work the same way when the price is going down," he told reporters in Cairo where ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were gathering ahead of a meeting Friday, reports Channel News Asia.

OPEC members are estimated to be producing 1.0-1.5 million bpd above quotas.

"We need at least a real decrease of one million (bpd)," the Libyan minister said. "One million is enough to stop this decrease in prices this time. But for the next (second) half of 2005 maybe we'll need more."

However, OPEC president Purnomo Yusgiantoro said that the cartel might postpone a cut until a clearer picture of supply and demand emerges in the first quarter of 2005, wrote the Turkish Press.

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