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Fri 12 Dec 2008 05:24 PM

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Kuwait: OPEC must cut oil output by 2mn barrels a day

Supreme Petroleum Council member also says members must abide by OPEC decision.

OPEC should slash oil output by two million barrels per day when it meets in Algeria next week in a bid to boost oil prices to $50 a barrel, a top Kuwaiti oil official said on Friday.

The oil cartel should also set a fresh mechanism to control oil markets if it wants to take oil prices up to $75, Moussa Maarafi, a member of the Kuwaiti Supreme Petroleum Council, told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

He added that concerted efforts needed to be made by all the cartel member countries to make this happen.

He urged members to "find an effective approach" to rein in the oil price which has slipped by more than $100 since it hit record highs of $147 in July.

Maarafi added that OPEC must rethink its oil price policy, to take into account the interests of producers and consumers.

And he hit out at member countries who had failed to abide by its resolutions to cut output in the past saying that was where the cartel's core problem lay.

Two thirds of the OPEC members have abided by the 1.5 million barrels per day output cut decided in October, but another third have failed to follow suit, he said.

He voiced hope that the next OPEC meeting would come up with effective recommendations and resolutions that could lead to an improvement in oil prices.

He blamed the slump in oil prices on the current global financial turmoil, US economic slowdown and sliding economic growth in India and China, two major world oil consumers.

He predicted that the current drop in oil prices would negatively affect oil exploration projects in Gulf countries but added that he beleived oil prices could rebound in the middle of 2009.

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