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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 09:22, June 08, 2006
EU to boost energy cooperation with OPEC
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The European Union (EU) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Wednesday agreed on a number of initiatives aimed at boosting cooperation through various joint actions.

Holding their third energy dialogue since 2005, both parties claimed their bilateral talks were progressing well and called for closer cooperation between consumers and suppliers to stabilize world oil price.

"We are not comfortable with prices at their present levels," OPEC President and Nigerian oil state minister Edmund Daukoru told a joint press conference.

"They contain within them the seeds of further volatility. Price levels whether too high or too low -- are detrimental to both producers and consumers,'' he added.

On his part, Austrian Economy Minister Martin Bartenstein, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, said closer cooperation between the suppliers and consumers is the only means to achieve a degree of transparency and stability in the energy market.

EU Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs said both sides want to cooperate for a stable energy market.

"Through dialogue and mutual support we can develop a framework for practical solutions,'' he said.

In their joint press release, both sides reaffirmed their mutual interest in stable, transparent and predictable oil markets, served by adequate infrastructure.

They noted that while world oil markets are adequately supplied with crude oil and stocks are at comfortable levels, concerns over spare production capacity, the ongoing tightness in the refining sector, geopolitical developments, and other factors continue to exert pressure on crude and product prices.

The two sides agreed to establish an EU-OPEC energy technology center and a joint conference on carbon capture and storage. They also agreed to make a joint study on investment needs in the refining sector.

The EU-OPEC dialogue was launched in 2004 to discuss and cooperate on important issues of common interest related to the energy industry.

The first ministerial meeting was held in Brussels in June 2005 and the second in Vienna in December 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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