OPEC output expected to stay unchanged

September 10th, 2008 - 5:30 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Sep 10 (DPA) OPEC ministers met to discuss oil production levels in Vienna Tuesday, with several representatives expressing their intentions to maintain current output rates.”Most probably, I think, we are not gonna do anything between (now and) the next meeting,” Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, conference president, told reporters, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen with the hurricane season (in the Gulf of Mexico), and whether the hurricane season will cut production by itself”.

In his opening address, Khelil said that oil ministers from the members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should address not only production levels but the causes of price volatility seen over the last year.

As prices were affected by the value of the dollar, geopolitics and the world economy, reacting to high prices with increased production “would have been the wrong medicine”, he said.

One barrel of crude produced by OPEC stood at $101.08 Monday, down from the record $140.73 July 3.

OPEC is not expected to cut official quotas, but experts say that some members such as Saudi Arabia might limit production in reaction to lower global demand.

High fuel prices and an economic slump have dampened consumption in the US, with demand also slowing in other industrialised countries.

Both the Saudi and Venezuelan oil ministers indicated earlier Tuesday that production levels should stay level.

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari called on fellow cartel members Monday to limit oversupply and stick to their allocated output.

OPEC produces more than 37 percent of the world’s oil supply. The organisation calculates an average basket price based on 13 brands produced by its members.

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