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Mexico Minister To Meet Saudis

March 10, 2001

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexico’s energy minister will meet with his counterparts from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, the Mexican Energy Ministry said Friday.

Energy Minister Ernesto Martens was to leave Friday for the meeting with Alvaro Silva and Ali Naimi, the ministry said in a statement.

``The reason for traveling to Saudi Arabia will be to study the possibilities of cooperation in energy matters between Mexico and that country, as well as to analyze the evolution and behavior of the oil market,″ the ministry said. ``Mexico believes it is of utmost importance to undertake the detailed analysis of market fundamentals as well as the evolution of the global economy, especially that of the U.S., and the level of inventories.″

The ministry said the meeting would allow Mexico to ``make the appropriate and pertinent decisions for the benefit of Mexico’s economy.″

Venezuela and Saudi Arabia are part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is set to meet March 17 to decide whether to cut production again. OPEC sliced production by 1.5 million barrels a day in January, fearing a slowing U.S. economy and warm weather would prompt a price crash in the second half of the year.

The April futures contract for crude oil was down 38 cents to $28.01 per barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Martens said Thursday that current oil prices are good, and Mexico doesn’t see an immediate need to cut output. Mexico’s export crude is now around $20 a barrel. Mexico currently exports 1.75 million barrels of oil a day.

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