OPEC dares non-OPEC producers

OPEC will reverse its decision to remove 1.5-million barrels of oil a day from the market if non-OPEC producers fail to cut production, the cartel's secretary-general, Ali Rodriguez, told the Associated Press today. OPEC’s non-move could provoke a price war that could force non-OPEC producers “out of the market. ... They could be forced to close production,” Rodriguez said. “We won't cut if nonmembers

OPEC will reverse its decision to remove 1.5-million barrels of oil a day from the market if non-OPEC producers fail to cut production, the cartel's secretary-general, Ali Rodriguez, told theAssociated Press today.

OPEC’s non-move could provoke a price war that could force non-OPEC producers “out of the market. ... They could be forced to close production,” Rodriguez said. “We won't cut if nonmembers don't.”

Rodriguez said OPEC expects to hear this week whether such non-OPEC producers as Mexico, Norway, Russia and Oman will cut output.

To stabilize slumping world oil prices, which have fallen more than 30% since the September 11 terrorist attacks, OPEC wants to cut 1.5 million barrels a day starting January 1 if nonmembers cut another 500,000 barrels per day.

``If we don't make a voluntary, opportune sacrifice now, we'll have to make an inopportune sacrifice because of the situation in the market,'' Rodriguez said.

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