Thursday, November 15, 2007

Canada 'welcome' in OPEC, Saudis say

from The Calgary Herald (Canada)

Ali Al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, said yesterday: "If Canada decides on its own to join OPEC, what would we say? Of course it would be welcome." Although it has been rejected by Canadian officials, the prospect of joining the cartel is not as outrageous as it seems. During a summit here, OPEC will welcome back Ecuador, which withdrew in 1992, and Brazil is considering entry after a seven-billion-barrel discovery last week. After oilsands expansions come on line after 2010, Canada is expected to vault to third or fourth place in world oil production, the fastest-growing G8 nation when it comes to oil output. However, Mr. Al-Naimi also noted that Canada is one of the world's most costly oil producers. In Arabic, Mr. Al-Naimi said prices had to be at least $40 to $60 per barrel to justify development of the "sands of oil" in northern Alberta, reserves pegged as second only to Saudi Arabia's.

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