AFP - The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to keep its official oil production target at 24.84 million barrels a day, OPEC president Wilson Pastor-Morris of Ecuador said on Thursday.
Brent crude oil slipped below $108 a barrel on Wednesday, extending five weeks of falls on signs of improving global supply.
Oil prices have tumbled over the past month as output has risen, with Libya ramping up production, while tensions over Syria and Iran have eased, dampening worries of disruption to production from the giant Middle East oilfields.
OPEC is expected to maintain its official oil production quota at a ministerial meeting here on Thursday after key members of the cartel expressed satisfaction with the current level of crude prices.Ecuadorian Natural Resources Minister Wilson Pastor-Morris, this year's president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said on Wednesday there was "consensus between members" to leave output unchanged.
A surge in U.S. oil production has pushed the country’s output to the highest level since 1992, threatening the dominance of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The U.S. pumped 7.06 million barrels a day in the week ended Feb. 8, up 1 percent from the previous week and extending last year’s 19 percent gain, the Energy Information Administration said today. OPEC production fell to the lowest level in a year in January, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said today in its monthly report.
OPEC holds a ministerial meeting Wednesday to decide on oil production levels, with markets expecting the cartel to maintain its official quota as a weak global economy hits demand for crude.But the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may decide to trim its actual production, which stands above the agreed ceiling, as OPEC hawks Venezuela and Iran seek to keep oil prices high.The Vienna-based organisation, which supplies a third of the world's crude, has had an output target of 24.84 million barrels per day (mbpd) for three years.
OPEC looked set Wednesday to keep oil production levels steady while the outlook for prices appeared uncertain against a backdrop of a fragile economic recovery and falling dollar."Yes, there is a consensus between members," Ecuadorian minister Wilson Pastor-Morris -- who is president this year of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -- told reporters on the eve of a ministerial meeting at the body's Vienna headquarters."We are happy with current prices ... (we are) not worried about oil rising above 80 dollars a barrel," Pastor-Morris said.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast the world will need less of its crude next year, even as global oil demand growth rebounds to its strongest pace since 2010, amid competing supply sources.