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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 14:44 GMT
Oil price rises on Iraqi vote
South refinery in Iraq
Opec members have pushed up output
The price of oil has ticked up after Iraq's parliament voted to reject a United Nations resolution calling on Iraq to surrender weapons of mass destruction.

The price of benchmark December Brent crude rose $0.16 to $23.95 (15) a barrel in London.

But with oil supplies from the major producing nations plentiful, prices have, overall, been falling in recent days, and there appears to be little reason to worry about a shortage of oil this winter, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

"Iraq remains a wild card," the IEA admitted in its latest monthly snapshot of the world's oil market.

Waiting for Saddam

Stockpiles should be replenished this winter "if you make the assumption that Iraqi supply remains at its current level and Opec produces at the current level", said IEA report author Klaus Rehaag.

The price of Brent crude oil has, thanks to overproduction, fallen by 25% since its September peak of $31 a barrel.

Fears about a Middle East war have receded as the UN has progressed discussions about the wording of a new, tougher ultimatum to Iraq.

That resolution was agreed last week.

Although it has since been rejected by the Iraqi parliament, the final decision on whether to let UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq rests with the country's leader, Saddam Hussein.

He has until Friday 15 November to respond to the UN.

Recent overproduction has seen members of the producers' cartel Opec breach their quotas by a total of 2.5 million barrels a day.

Among non-Opec oil producers, Norway and the US have also raised output.

Analysis of the oil market, OPEC, and the alternatives

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Analysis

Background
See also:

12 Nov 02 | Middle East
18 Oct 02 | Business
17 Oct 02 | Science/Nature
11 Oct 02 | Business
06 Aug 02 | Business
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