Norway to cut its oil output, in line with OPEC

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Norway said Tuesday it will cut its oil output by 7.5 percent in line with OPEC-led efforts to introduce higher prices. But the North Sea producer stressed it has no plans to introduce fixed prices. Oil and Energy Minister Arne Oeien told a news conference that Norway - which is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - will cut oil output by 80,000 barrels a day for the first six months of 1987, matching a decision by OPEC last month to reduce output by about 7.25 percent.

World oil prices have moved up above $19 a barrel in recent days.

This is partly because of oil production cutbacks by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members that have now taken effect. It is also due to higher demand for heating oil in Europe and the Soviet Union, owing to severe cold weather.

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Mr. Oeien says the OPEC agreement, which was signed last month in Geneva, was a ``significant step'' toward increasing world oil prices. But he dismisses any possibility of a move toward fixed prices, the second part of OPEC's two-pronged policy to raise the price of crude oil to $18 and above.

``Fixing Norwegian crude prices would place new restrictions on oil companies,'' Oeien says.

He says Norway's new output limits could be lifted on short notice if the producers group failed to stick to its December agreement, which mandated both a cut in production and a return to fixed prices.

Norway currently produces about 1 million barrels a day and is Europe's second-biggest oil producer after Britain.

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