Qatar Oil Minister: $50 Crude 'OK' for 2009


"Qatar's oil minister said Monday he was 'OK' with crude oil at $50 per barrel for this year. . ."

Qatar's oil minister said Monday he was "OK" with crude oil at $50 per barrel for this year, reflecting a measure of pragmatism by OPEC as the producer bloc struggles to buoy oil prices hammered by the global economic meltdown.

Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah's comments came as energy experts renewed warnings that the world faced the possibility of major oil price volatility if sufficient investments are not injected into developing the energy sector. Separately, Kuwait announced that it had raised production capacity to 3 million barrels per day and was on target to hit its goal of 4 million barrels per day by 2020.

Al-Attiyah, whose country is one of the 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said he was "trying to be more pragmatic" about prices and that $50 is and "OK price for 2009" given the current economic climate. He spoke on the sidelines of an energy conference in Kuwait.

OPEC has been working to boost oil prices that have fallen by over 60 percent from mid July highs of $147 per barrel. The group refrained from announcing new production cuts during its March meeting in Vienna, opting instead to focus on greater compliance with an earlier 4.2 million barrel round of cuts from September levels.

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