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    OPEC COUNTRIES CAN OPENLY PRODUCE OIL ABOVE THE SET QUOTA

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    VIENNA, April 7, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- OPEC member countries will be allowed to produce oil above the set quota if oil prices on the world energy markets are extremely high.

    OPEC president and acting secretary general of the oil cartel of 11 countries Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who is also energy and extracting industry minister of Indonesia made this statement, which was then made public by the OPEC general secretariat in Vienna.

    But, according to him, until oil prices remain unchanged all OPEC members will adhere to quotas set to them by the decision of a regular, 130th Vienna conference, which took place on March 31. In compliance with this decision, the aggregate quotas on the extraction and export deliveries of crude oil make up 23.5 million barrels a day, not counting the volumes delivered to the world raw materials market by Iraq (more than 2 million barrels).

    Mr. Yusgiantoro believes that "at the present time oil supplies to the world raw materials exchanges are sufficient, which correspond to the demand for them.

    The only problem is the deficit of the reserves of some oil products in the USA, which is the main oil consumer.

    He critically perceived statements of some leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait that they "will postpone the implementation of the decision of the 130th Vienna conference for an indefinite period of time." All OPEC member countries should observe the cartel discipline and implement the decisions adopted on the basis of a consensus, the OPEC head declared.

    The main problem facing OPEC is the absence of this discipline. In conditions when there is no sanctions against the violators, one country or another or several countries simultaneously violate the national quotas set to them. They strive to solve their urgent economic problems due to high oil prices. That is why one can speak about the absolute aggregate quotas only conditionally. Analysts believe that the excessive oil volume placed on the international markets by the OPEC countries reaches 2-3 million barrels of oil a day. That is why the statement of the OPEC head only reflects the real state of affairs in the cartel.

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