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    OPEC DOES NOT INTEND TO REVISE ITS DECISION ON CUTTING OIL PRODUCTION SINCE APRIL 1

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    MEXICO, March 5, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Ilya Protsenko) - OPEC intends to firmly follow its decision on cutting oil production, Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Mines Rafael Ramirez spoke about it in Caracas on Thursday.

    We contact the ministers of the OPEC member-countries and are firm in our decision to cut oil production by one million barrels a day, Rafael Ramirez stressed.

    The minister also believes that today's high oil prices are to be explained by temporary factors, such as low oil inventories and the escalation of violence in the Middle East.

    Three weeks ago the Venezuelan minister already stated that OPEC would not revise its February 10 decision about cutting the oil production quota and that in case of necessity the petroleum cartel could take a new decision on reducing the output at the end of March.

    Venezuela, which occupies the world's fifth place in oil exports, produces more than three million barrels of oil a day and plays an important role in OPEC's activity, yielding only to Saudi Arabia and Iran in this respect.

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