Monday, November 1, 2010

Angola wants higher output quota from OPEC

* Producing close to OPEC quota - oil minister

* Output now 1.8 million barrels per day

(Adds quote, details)

NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Angola wants OPEC to raise the country's oil output quota as the southwest African country depends on its natural resources for "social economic recovery", Oil Minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos said on Sunday.

Asked if the country was producing well above the OPEC quota, he said: "We are very close to it," adding his country was cutting its output to comply with its OPEC quota.

Botelho de Vasconcelos, who is in New Delhi to attend industry conference Petrotech, said the country was producing 1.8 million barrels per day, which is more than its OPEC quota.

He said the country would like OPEC to raise its output quota as oil significantly contributes to its growth.

Asked if he seeks a higher quota for his country, he said: "We are trying to do that...In our county we live during lots of time during war...In that time we need resources to recover."

The southwest African nation relies on oil for around 80 percent of government revenues.

OPEC has not agreed a formal change in output since December 2008 when it adopted a record cut in its production target, which has left the group plenty of leeway to adjust supplies informally by raising or lowering compliance with the curbs.

A recovery in oil markets, now trading well above $8O a barrel for the U.S. crude, has helped to encourage leakage above agreed limits and Angola was among those whose output rose in October.

Botelho de Vasconcelos said he expected the crude oil price to hover around $80 per barrel in the first quarter of 2011.

"It (current oil price) is not bad. We are comfortable with it," he said.

Asked if he expected OPEC to change its policy at its next meeting on Dec. 11, he said: "I think in (our) next meeting we will analyse the (oil market) situation and to transfer the presidency to Iran," he said. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Michael Shields)

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