UPI Energy Watch

Saudi Arabia announced a 200,000 barrel per day output increase.

Leaders in the government said Thursday they planned to increase oil output by 200,000 barrels per day.


In reaction, the price of London's Brent crude oil, which was already falling after China said it would raise gasoline and diesel fuel prices, sank below $133 per barrel, the GulfNews reported.

The announcement came just ahead of a weekend meeting of consumers and producers in Jeddah to discuss ways to deal with record-high crude prices.

The suggested increase would put Saudi Arabia crude production at 9.65 million barrels per day.

The statement confirmed comments from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said Saudi Arabia had told him it would increase its oil output by 200,000 barrels per day in July.

The announcement did not say when the additional production would begin.

"King Abdullah is to open an international energy conference in Jeddah on June 22 to discuss ways to curb rising oil prices and to stabilize the international market," the statement added.


"As many as 38 countries, four international organizations and 30 oil companies have agreed to attend the conference, at which the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will give an address," officials said.

Saudi Arabia had increased output by 300,000 barrels per day last month following a visit by U.S. President George Bush to the kingdom. Meanwhile, Venezuela's oil minister has said his country would not attend the Jeddah meeting.

New Zealand Oil & Gas is riding the success of its Tui field.

Industry analysts said the company's success at Tui has highlighted the company's appeal as a target for takeover and merger deals.

NZOG is also looking to get a significant cash boost with most of a potential $208 million in options likely to be exercised by the end of the month.

Already about 4.2 million of the 139 million $1.50 options have been exercised, and the company says the expected capital injection will increase the scale of opportunities it can sensibly pursue, The New Zealand Herald reported.

The company is this year's second-best performer on the New Zealand Exchange Ltd., behind Pike River Coal in which it has a 31 percent stake.

Forsyth Barr analyst Andrew Harvey-Green said merger or takeover activity could go either way.


"NZOG's got the cash reserves themselves -- if they want to have a go at someone, they could probably do that, but equally those cash reserves could be attractive to someone else coming in," he said.

Chinese leaders are claiming the Chunxiao field belongs to them.

The sovereign rights of Chunxiao oil and gas field in the East China Sea belong to China, said Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei.

The cooperative development of the Chunxiao oil and gas field between Chinese and Japanese enterprises is different from the "joint development" of the East China Sea, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

According to the consensus on the East China Sea issue, Chinese enterprises welcome the participation of Japanese legal persons in the development of the existing oil and gas field in Chunxiao.

The development of Chunxiao oil and gas field must be conducted in accordance with Chinese law, Wu said, adding this is the biggest difference from joint development.

"This indicates that the sovereign rights of Chunxiao oil and gas field belong to China," Wu said.

There are many cases of cooperative development in the international community. Foreign companies in China's coastal areas and Chinese companies in other nations have conducted cooperative development in the same way as in Chunxiao, Wu said.



Closing oil prices, June 20, 3 p.m., London

Brent crude oil: $132.47

West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $134.23


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