The price of OPEC crude oil has dropped after a consecutive rise in 10 trading days due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in the oil and gas producing Gulf of Mexico.
The Vienna-headquartered Secretariat of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced Monday that the prices of a package of 11 market-monitored crudes slipped 64 US cents on Friday from a record high of 61.37 dollars a barrel.
The average oil prices dropped as the US administration decided Friday to tap its strategic oil reserves to ease the energy crisis, but grave concerns linger as exploitation and refining remain hobbled in the United States and the Mexican Gulf that was hit by Hurricane Katrina a week ago.
Katrina could spark a worldwide energy crisis, Claude Mandil, executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, warned on Sunday.
But Kuwait's Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah, who holds the rotating OPEC presidency, said the judgment is not well grounded.
The OPEC's daily output of about 304 million barrels has exceeded global demand for the cartel's oil, and will secure the stability of the market, he said.
Earlier last week, OPEC announced in a statement that its member states that still have spare capacity are increasing their oil supply. The cartel has also decided to raise the daily production quota in October by 500,000 barrels.