ALGERIA NOT TO CURB OIL PRODUCTION?

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CAIRO, February 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Igor Kuznetsov) -- Member of the ten-country oil cartel, Algeria refuses to abide by the OPEC's latest decision to cut national quotas for oil production taken at the ministerial session in Algiers.

At present Algeria produces 1.2 million barrels of oil daily, which is 300,000 barrels more than its quota, the country's Energy and Mining Minister Chekib Khalil said on the national television on Sunday.

According to him, if Algeria complies with the cartel's "sudden decision" to curb production by 10 percent, its incomes will fall and it will have to raise prices on all goods and services by 3 percent. Oil sales returns bring 30 percent of the state's income, Khalil pointed out.

Algeria has made its stand known to all OPEC members and it is now being discussed, he said.

In early February OPEC ministers decided to reduce the cartel's total oil output by 1 million barrels per day, from 24.5 million to 23.5 million barrels.

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