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OPEC output decision to be made only after reviewing oil prices: Kuwait minister

Tokyo — The decision by Washington to not extend waivers on Iranian crude oil imports will be a key topic of discussion when OPEC members meet in Jeddah in May, and any decision on output will be made only after reviewing prices, Kuwait's oil minister Khaled Al Fadhel said Tuesday.

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"I am sure the topic of American sanctions will be a hot topic to be discussed [at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting in Jeddah in May]," Fadhel told reporters during a visit in Tokyo.

"A decision will be made only after the review of [oil] prices and how that influences the prices," Fadhel said when he was asked to comment whether OPEC will review its output policy after the US announcement on Monday to end all waivers from Iran oil sanctions due to expire May 2.

"Kuwait as a country, a member in OPEC and a founder in OPEC, we always seek stabilization of [oil] prices across the world," for the benefit of oil producers and consumers, he added.

Asked whether Kuwait is ready to increase its oil production, Fadhel said: "As a minister of oil, we have not discussed this issue as of now," adding that the producing country will follow OPEC's production policy.

Kuwait produces around 2.7 million b/d of oil in accordance with the cuts decided by JMMC, he added. He declined to comment on Kuwait's spare production capacity Tuesday.

The JMMC -- which oversees the OPEC/non-OPEC deal -- is set to meet next on May 19 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after the cancellation of an extraordinary meeting scheduled for April 17-18 at which OPEC had originally hoped to announce any cut extension.

OPEC is set to meet on June 25 in Vienna to discuss extending the agreement to cut output by 1.2 million b/d beyond the end of June, followed by a meeting the next day with the non-OPEC signatories. The current agreement exempts Venezuela, Iran and Libya from output reductions.

--Takeo Kumagai,

--Edited by Norazlina Jumaat,