Monday, June 05, 2006

 

Saudi trying to conceal its peak?

Signs of a New Twist
In Global Oil Story?

By JOSEPH SCHUMAN
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
. . .

Where the oil story took an unfamiliar turn this weekend was Venezuela. After OPEC member states rejected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's proposal to formally cut output, as expected, Saudi Arabia's oil minister admitted the world's largest petroleum exporter has already done so. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ali Naimi attributed the decline in output to a drop in demand -- and he pointedly denied the kingdom was trying to boost prices by limiting supply. "At $70 a barrel?" he asked. Global oil stocks are full, he said, and many refiners -- which turn Saudi crude into the gasoline and jet fuel still so in demand -- have closed their facilities for routine annual maintenance. The implication of his remarks, the Journal says, is that Saudi Arabia will fully open its taps again when the demand for more oil is there. The Journal also cites OPEC officials saying others have encountered problems selling oil, including Iran and the United Arab Emirates. . . .


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