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Algerian Oil Min Sees OPEC Keeping Ceiling Unch At Mtg

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 9/6/2006, Location: Africa

Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said Wednesday he expects the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep its output ceiling unchanged when it meets next week in Vienna. "We have no choice but to keep the same ceiling at the meeting," he told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of a seminar on gas and electricity in the capital.

"We can't increase production because all the members are producing at maximum capacity and we can't lower production because that would push prices up," he added

. U.S. oil prices have fallen in the past two weeks, coming off the highs seen in July of over $78 a barrel, as the threat on U.S. production from the hurricane season has eased and as negotiations with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program are expected to be further drawn out.

At 1545 GMT, light sweet crude futures trading on New York's Mercantile Exchange were down 49 cents at $68.05/bbl.

Khelil said he expected prices to fall further but not below $50/bbl for the rest of the year. Next year, he said he expected a further drop. High oil prices have boosted Algeria's revenues, which are expected to reach $52 billion to $54 billion by the end of this year, Khelil said. At the end of July, Algeria's oil revenues hit $31 billion and are accruing at the rate of $4 billion a month, he added.

He said Algeria was producing 1.5 million barrels a day of crude oil and is on target to reaching 2 million b/d by 2010.

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