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OPEC Meeting Will Check Up on Quotas

THE Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' market-monitoring committee will meet next month to discuss whether the cartel's member countries are adhering to new production quotas, Kuwait's oil minister said Saturday.

In a statement carried by the Kuwait News Agency, the minister, Ali al-Baghli said the OPEC meeting will take place in Oman on the fringes of a larger gathering of oil ministers.

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The April 13-14 meeting in Muscat, the Omani capital, will attract ministers from within the cartel and independent oil-producing states.

Kuwait grudgingly agreed at a February OPEC meeting in Vienna to curtail its production from 2.1 million barrels per day to 1.6 million b.p.d. from March 1 to July 1.

The reduction was part of an effort by OPEC countries to curtail production by 1.5 million b.p.d. to 23.5 million barrels to boost prices that had dipped well below the $21 a barrel reference price.

The emirate was hoping to be exempted from the cut, arguing it needed the revenue to rebuild its economy, which was shattered by Iraq's seven-month occupation that ended in February 1991.

The cut is expected to cost Kuwait at least $700 million. Parliament members have said Kuwait ought to consider withdrawing from the cartel if it continued to harm the emirate's financial situation.

Mr. al-Baghli said OPEC and non-OPEC ministers will discuss environmental issues, long-term price and market expectations, and the effects of international relations on the future of energy.

He said among the independent producers that will take part in the OPEC meeting are the states of Alaska and Texas, the province of Alberta in Canada, Angola, Azerbaijan, Brunei, China, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Oman, Russia, and Yemen.

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