FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

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ALGERIA URGES RUSSIA, NORWAY, MEXICO TO JOIN OPEC – Energy minister calls on three countries to join cartel or cut their output to show solidarity to group

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

First Published 2008-12-02 – Updated 2008-12-02 16:05:18

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

ALGIERS – Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, the current president of OPEC, on Tuesday urged Russia, Norway and Mexico to join or cut their crude production to show solidarity with the group.

“What we really want is for these countries to become members of OPEC,” Khelil said on the sidelines of a conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Algiers, according to APS news agency.

“I don’t see why Russia can’t be a full-fledged member of the organisation. It’s the best way to express solidarity,” he said.

If the three countries refuse to join OPEC, they should reduce oil production, Khelil said.

“We don’t need an agreement to stand by countries that share the same goal. If they have problems (joining OPEC), they should just apply their intended reductions.”

Russia, a top world oil producer, is not a member of OPEC, but has held regular consultations with the organisation.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin last week said Moscow had prepared a draft memorandum on cooperation with the 13-member cartel.

OPEC secretary general Abdalla Salem El-Badri said Monday the cartel may decide on a “major” output cut when it meets in Oran, Algeria, on December 17.

OPEC has already slashed output twice this year by a total of two million barrels per day in response to plunging prices but fears remain that a global recession could ravage demand for energy.

Oil prices have fallen under 50 dollars a barrel.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

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