Energy security not a unilateral issue, says Opec chief

Vienna, Feb 1 | Updated: Feb 2 2006, 05:50am hrs
Opec President Edmund Daukoru, reacting to President George W Bushs aim to break US dependence on Middle East oil, said on Wednesday energy security should not be a unilateral issue. Daukoru was asked for his response to Bushs State of the Union speech on Tuesday which set a goal of reducing the United States addiction to oil and cutting crude imports from the Middle East by 75% by 2025. We do believe that energy issues cannot be handled in a unilateral way, we all have to work together towards global energy security, said Daukoru, also Nigerian minister of state for petroleum.

Opec, whose meeting on Tuesday ended with a commitment to continue pumping oil at close to capacity to temper high oil prices and support economic growth, has fostered closer links with consuming countries. We remain committed to work together with other parties, Daukoru told reporters.

Speaking a few hours later at a news conference hosted by EU president Austria, Daukoru said Opec believed renewable energy sources had a role to play in meeting world energy needs. Bush set a target of boosting oil alternatives like ethanol, solar and wind power. We encourage use of these sources as part of the energy mix, Daukoru told the news conference with Austrian Economic Affairs and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein.