OPEC seen keeping output limit; Naimi says market balanced

‘Buoyant’ Prices

OPEC doesn’t need to cut output to keep prices “buoyant at current levels,” Gordon Kwan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc., said in an e-mail today.

“OPEC is likely to maintain its production ceiling during its meeting on Wednesday in Vienna,” Yousfi said today, according to the Algerian state-run Press Service.

Iraq plans to increase exports to an average 3.4 million barrels a day next year, al-Luaibi told reporters today in Vienna. The country will produce an additional 700,000 barrels a day of crude for domestic use.

Demand for crude from OPEC is estimated to remain near current levels in 2014, so ministers will probably stick with the current output ceiling, said three delegates yesterday who spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions are private.

The delegates spoke to Bloomberg before al-Naimi arrived. A Bloomberg survey last week showed 22 out of 24 analysts and traders expect OPEC to keep its target unchanged.

‘Why Cut?’

Al-Naimi said the return of supply from Iran and Iraq wouldn’t necessarily prompt a subsequent OPEC output cut. Saudi Arabia pumps almost a third of OPEC’s oil.

“Why cut production?” he said in response to a question. “Demand is there.”

The Centre for Global Energy Studies in London and Citigroup Inc. in New York have forecast that the kingdom and its allies Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates would have to reduce production by 1 million to 2 million barrels a day in 2014 to prevent a glut and keep prices stable.

The U.S. is pumping the most in almost a quarter century amid surging production from shale formations. It will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer for a few years from about 2015, the International Energy Agency said last month.

“The market is doing well for the past two years, price is doing well, supply and demand in equilibrium, inventories are in the right position,” al-Naimi said.

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