Will There Be An Oil Tanker Shortage?

Wednesday, September 13, 2000
Kuwait's finance minister said it was unclear whether there would be enough crude oil tankers to lift additional supplies if producers bowed to consumer pressure for another rise in output. "(Industrialized nations) are asking for a production increase without knowing if there are enough tankers to lift the additional crude," Al-Watan newspaper on Wednesday quoted Finance Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah as saying. Sheikh Ahmad added that Western nations were wrong to blame the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for high oil prices. "We are not the reason behind the high rise in oil prices, but the reasons are psychological, a rise in demand and the inability to market (products)," he said. The minister said that despite the rise in revenues for the OPEC member, Kuwait will continue to keep its spending in check. Kuwaiti crude has averaged above $26 a barrel since the start of the current July-March fiscal period, compared with $13 a barrel used to calculate budget revenues.

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