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Sat 7 Nov 2009 05:40 PM

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Raising output not on OPEC agenda now - UAE oil min

Mohammed Al Hamli says the world economy is not yet 'out of the woods'.

UAE Oil Minister Mohammed Al Hamli said on Saturday raising oil production was not currently on the agenda for OPEC.

"Right now increasing production is not on the agenda," Hamli told reporters in Dubai.

OPEC meets on Dec. 22 in Angola to decide on production policy. Both Venezuela and Iran have said the producer group did not need to increase output then. OPEC has kept official output targets unchanged at meetings this year.

The minister of the world's third-largest oil exporter also said the market was oversupplied as inventories were high.

"If you look at inventory it's very high in terms of crude and refined products, so the market is oversupplied," Hamli said.

The minister said the world economy was not yet "out of the woods", but added oil prices at around $80 a barrel signalled a recovery. "There are certainly signs of a recovery which is reflected in the (oil) prices," he said.

U.S. crude fell $2.19 to $77.43 a barrel on Friday while London Brent crude was down $2.12 to $75.87 a barrel.

Overall, Hamli said, he was happy with compliance levels, adding the UAE was fully compliant.

Producer group OPEC last year agreed to a series of output reductions aimed at raising oil prices, which dropped from a record near $150 a barrel in July 2008 to below $33 a barrel in December as the recession battered fuel demand.

OPEC has agreed to cut supply by 4.2 million bpd since September 2008 due to falling demand and prices. (Reuters)

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