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Kuwait says OPEC to keep production steady

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 17 – Kuwait\’s Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah said on Tuesday OPEC will leave its production unchanged at its meeting next month, adding that current oil price was "comfortable."

"Nothing. (Quota will remain) as is," the minister told reporters when asked if the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could alter its production quota at its December 22 meeting in Angola.

"Seventy-five to 80 dollars a barrel is a good and comfortable price," the minister said.

His comments match those of OPEC president Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, who told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on Gulf energy security in Abu Dhabi that oil at 75 to 80 dollars a barrel "is a good price… for the recovery of the world economy."

But the Kuwaiti minister said that if the oil price rose to around 100 dollars a barrel "at that time we should have another discussion."

Sheikh Ahmad said demand for the crude "is picking up everywhere."

"There is ample supply," on the markets, he added.

Asked about the indications of the oil price for 2010, the minister said that it was early to judge.

"This will depend on the (global) economic recovery. Maybe this (price rise) is the effect of stimulus packages. Let\’s give it more time," he said.

Oil fell slightly in Asian trade on Tuesday after overnight gains spurred by a weak dollar and hopes of improved energy demand amid a global recovery.

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New York\’s main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery eased 20 cents to 78.70 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for January delivery fell 32 cents to 78.44 dollars a barrel.

Kuwait the fourth-largest producer of OPEC, a 13-member cartel of oil-rich nations, and is pumping just over 2.2 million barrels per day.

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