OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait boosted their oil production in August to prevent prices from rising sharply and negatively impacting on the world economy, Kuwait's oil minister said Sunday.
"Had not a number of OPEC members, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, increased their oil production, prices would have jumped way above the current level," Mohammad al-Baseeri told the official KUNA news agency.
"Without this measure, oil prices would have shot above current levels causing a global crisis and contributing to a recession in the global economy which is still recovering from the impact of the 2008 crisis," he said.
The increase in production by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait came after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries refused in June to raise production, Baseeri said.
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The minister said Kuwait's production in August "did not go below 2.8 million barrels per day," way above its OPEC quota of 2.2 million bpd. He put the emirate's output capacity at 3.05 million bpd.
World oil prices slumped on Friday after the United States reported job creation ground to a halt in August, a stark sign of trouble in the world's largest economy.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in October, dropped $2.48 to close at $86.45 a barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October fell $1.96 to settle at $112.33 a barrel on the IntercontinentalExchange.
Baseeri said the sovereign debt crisis in the United States and Europe, the loss of the Libyan oil and inflation in China were the main causes for fluctuations in oil prices.
Kuwait has demanded at OPEC's past meeting that its production quota be increased, said the minister, adding the Gulf emirate can produce 3.05 million bpd.