* Qatar in talks with China and India on extra LNG sales
By Regan E. Doherty
DOHA, Nov 23 (Reuters) - OPEC is not likely to change its production quotas at its next meeting in December in Ecuador if oil prices remain at current levels, Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said on Tuesday.
“If it (prices) continues as it is, I don’t think they (OPEC ministers) will do anything,” Attiyah told reporters in the industrial hub of Ras Laffan. He did not give an exact price level.
Crude prices CLc1 have spent much of this year between $70 and $80 a barrel.
OPEC’s current production target is pegged at 24.84 million barrels per day. It left its output target unchanged at an Oct. 14 meeting, as it has since making a record supply curb of 4.2 million bpd in December 2008 to combat lower demand and prices. [ID:nLDE69D0Y1]
Earlier this month, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia shifted upwards the band from a price it has backed for around two years, saying oil at $70 to $90 a barrel was comfortable for consumers. [ID:nSGE6A0069]
OPEC’s second-largest producer Iran has said the market can tolerate $100 a barrel. [ID:nTER935244]
On Tuesday oil fell towards $81 a barrel as the dollar rose and the euro fell on prospects that Ireland’s debt crisis might lead to problems elsewhere in Europe. [O/R]
“There is an important correlation between the U.S. dollar and oil,” Attiyah said. But he added he was not worried about a debt crisis in Ireland: “We’re seeing that the European Union will intervene very quickly.”
The minister said he saw strong LNG demand from India and China and was looking to supply more to these countries. Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“We’re discussing now with China for an additional 7 million tonnes and with India 4-5 million tonnes,” he said.
He also added that the Gulf state would still be interested in exporting power to its neighbours if demand were there. (Writing by Humeyra Pamuk, Editing by Sue Thomas)