OPEC to Seek Help From Nonmembers

OPEC secretary-general Abdalla El-Badri said the group would seek help from nonmembers Russia, Mexico and Norway in restraining oil supply after the oil cartel on Saturday deferred by two weeks a decision to reduce production this year to gauge the impact of earlier cuts.

"All non-OPEC should come and help; it is a big burden for OPEC," El-Badri told reporters in Cairo after the meeting, adding that Russia's energy minister is expected to attend their next summit on Dec. 17 in Algeria.

"We always ask Russia to join us, starting today and starting yesterday," said El-Badri, who was previously an oil minister for Libya.

Mexico, Norway and Russia were among non-OPEC producers that cooperated with OPEC in trimming production to help raise oil prices a decade ago, which sank to almost $10 a barrel in December 1998.

The group warned in a statement that demand would be "much lower" than was expected a month ago.

The cost of crude has continued to slide even after the group agreed last month to lower production by 1.5 million barrels a day.

Oil ministers from OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Algeria, Nigeria and Iraq said Saturday that an oil price of $75 a barrel would be a "fair" level that supports investment in new capacity.

New York prices rallied to a record near $150 in July then fell below $50 this month.