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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Opec looking at production cuts
Barrels of oil
Oil prices have fallen more 20% since late July
Oil prices have risen after the president of Opec said the producers' group was considering a cut in output.

Edmund Daukoru, who is also Nigeria's oil minister, said he was looking at the possibility of calling an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.

His comments come after Nigeria and Venezuela announced at the weekend that they were cutting production, following the 20% fall in prices since July.

US light crude ended the day up 62 cents to $60 a barrel.

Meanwhile, London's Brent settled up 78 cents to $60 a barrel also.

'Action needed'

Oil prices hit record highs of $78 a barrel in the summer in the wake of fears of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear plans, and the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon.

The threat of sanctions against Iran has since receded, and the last Israeli troops have now left Lebanon.

With the US also recently reporting an increase in both its oil and petrol stockpiles, prices have since fallen below $60, prompting Mr Daukoru's latest comments.

An Opec official said no decision had been made on an emergency meeting.

But Mr Daukoru said: "We are toying with the idea of an emergency meeting."

Opec members, he warned, "agree that something needs to be done" to shore up prices.

"We will have to agree on how much, how soon and how we distribute it among the member countries," he said.

In addition to the existing production cuts by his home nation and Venezuela, Mr Daukoru added that both Algeria and Saudi Arabia were now considering a reduction in output.

The next scheduled Opec meeting is not due to be held until 14 December.

Nigeria and Venezuela are reducing their combined oil production by 170,000 barrels per day.

Press reports suggest Opec is now looking at a 4% drop in output across its 11-member nations, from the current level of about 29 million barrels a day.

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