Thursday, December 16, 2010

OPEC Rolls Over Production Targets, Oil Prices Inch Higher

by the Editorial Team, Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), December 13, 2010
As expected, OPEC maintained its production targets at the ministerial meeting in Quito on 11 December. While both the IEA and the EIA had before the meeting raised their forecasts for demand growth this year and next, OPEC’s post-meeting communiqué said: “Having reviewed the oil market outlook, including the overall demand/supply projections for the year 2011, the conference observed that the increase in the annual average oil demand in 2011 is likely to be lower than in 2010.” Although some OPEC ministers have touted $100/B as a suitable oil price of late, Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi told reporters at the OPEC meeting: “$70-80/B is a good price.” ...

(OPEC's output ceiling of 24.845 million barrels per day for 11 of its members, thus, hasn't changed since it was agreed at the December 2008 Oran meeting. Iraq has been exempt from the quota system since late 1990, because of the U.N. sanctions up to the 2003 war, and due to the exemption given to it by the organization, thereafter. Currently, OPEC has a total of 12 member countries: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. OPEC set its next meeting for June 2, 2011 in Vienna. - D.R.)

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