OPEC decides to keep output quota unchanged


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided Thursday to keep the current output quota of 30 million barrels per day unchanged.

After its 161st ordinary meeting, OPEC stated that this decision was made after the integrated consideration of the current global economic situation currently and for a period of time in future, as well as other factors such as the European debt crisis.

OPEC would also pay close attention to the impacts on the global crude oil demand imposed by the changes in world economy and European debt situation, said OPEC in a statement.

During the meeting, some oil ministers of OPEC members supported to maintain the crude oil output at the current level, so that the pace of world economic growth would not be affected.

They believed that a reduction in OPEC crude oil production quota may lead to a growth in oil prices, consequently increasing the concerns on the prospects for global economic growth and the European debt crisis. Therefore, this is not the time to reduce the supply of crude oil right now.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Hani Abdulaziz Hussain told reporters before the meeting: "We do not want unnecessary shock on the market."

However, some OPEC member states stood for a reduction in crude oil output quota to deal with the continuous decline in oil prices presently.

Over the last three months, OPEC oil price fell from about 125 U.S. dollars to less than 100 dollars a barrel.

Oil Minster of Qatar Mohamed al-Sada, therefore, believed that the current international crude oil market is facing a slight supply surplus.

However, he said "I hope the demand for crude oil would increase in the second and third quarter of this year, so that to balance the supply surplus."

At the meeting, some OPEC members also tried to persuade Saudi Arabia to reduce ist crude oil production unilaterally, consequently resulting in a reducion in OPEC's total output.

Youcef Yousfi, Algerian Oil Minister, said "Currently, OPEC production growth is unreasonable.

As the OPEC's largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia has a daily oil production of about 10 million barrels currently. It also has a considerable amount of spare capacity in crude oil production.

The current OPEC daily crude oil output quota of 30 million barrels was decided at the 160th OPEC meeting held in December 2011. However, it is estimated that the current OPEC oil output reaches nearly 31.60 million barrels a day.

On this issue, OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri pointed out the decision of maintaining the current level of 30 million barrels per day is to require member states to abate the excess production to match their output quotas.

The next OPEC Ministerial Meeting to decide the output quota will be held on Dec. 12 this year.


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