OPEC set to keep output ceiling unchanged amid Europe crisis

Dangerous for Producers

The recent slump in crude is dangerous for producers and prices need to be higher than $100, according to Venezuela’s Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez.

“We are asking to reduce oil production,” Ramirez said in an interview in Vienna today. “There is over production and the economic situation is bad in the euro zone. The market has a lot of oil,” he said.

Iran, facing a European Union embargo on its oil exports, and Venezuela have been joined by Iraq, Angola, Libya and Ecuador in saying that global crude supplies are excessive.

“The drop in prices, we have objection,” Rostam Qasemi, Iran’s oil minister, said in Vienna. He met today with his Iraqi counterpart Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi to discuss the group’s production.

Short Memories

“Some may be tempted to see the market as oversupplied, and there have been calls by a number of producers for ‘over- production’ to be reined in,” the IEA said yesterday in its monthly report. “Memories are indeed short: crude prices remain very high in historical terms, and are acting as a drag on household and government budgets.”

Tightening sanctions on Iran and production halts outside of OPEC pose some risks to supply for the rest of the year, the IEA said. Outages from producers in the North Sea, Syria, Yemen and Sudan and South Sudan will reach 1.18 million barrels a day in the third quarter, the agency said.

OPEC will “most likely” keep its output limit when it meets, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Hani Abdulaziz Hussain said. “That looks to be the most likely outcome of the meeting: Maintaining the ceiling.”

Ministers are scheduled to gather at 3 p.m. Vienna time to open the meeting and begin closed-session talks an hour later, with timings subject to change. A press conference by al-Luaibi, who holds the group’s rotating presidency, and Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri is planned for 5 p.m.

Bloomberg News


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