OPEC to maintain oil production level

OPEC president Abd Allah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said on Wednesday that the 11-member oil cartel had decided to maintain its production ceiling at the current level, but stressed it was imperative that members abide by their quotas.

    OPEC not to cut output
    until Iraqi supplies increase

    Al-Attiyah said the members reconfirmed the earlier agreement in April that the ceiling would be at 25.4 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1 June. He hoped that there would be no overproduction (above quotas) until 31 July when the next meeting is scheduled.

     

    In a statement released at the end of the extraordinary meeting in the Qatari capital Doha, OPEC said  stability had been maintained in the market, following the decision taken by the OPEC conference in April 2003 to reduce actual production to 25.4 million barrels per day (bpd), with prices remaining within agreed levels.

      

    Despite the fact that the market remained well-supplied, prices have displayed an upward trend recently due to the slower-than-anticipated recovery in Iraqi production, coupled with unusually low stock levels, it said.

     

    Iraq welcomed  

     

    However, with low stock levels anticipated to be replenished during the third quarter, the conference decided to maintain currently agreed production levels, with strict compliance. It emphasised that continued vigilance in monitoring market developments was imperative over the coming period, the statement said. 

      

    OPEC added that it welcomed the return of Iraq to the oil market and looked forward to the country's resumption of its role in the organisation.

      

    Meanwhile world oil prices on Wednesday eased from three-month highs, following the OPEC decision to maintain existing output levels.

     

    In London, benchmark Brent crude was 16 cents weaker at $27.92, while US light sweet crude slipped 10 cents to $31.63.


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