OPEC predicts stable prices for 2003

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries predicted oil prices will remain stable for the rest of 2003. However, it said downward pressure on prices was likely in 2004 due to high supply.

    Increased Iraqi ouput is expected to impact prices in 2004

    OPEC production will be cut by 900,000 barrels a day from its current quota of 25.4 million barrels a day on 1 November.

    OPEC will evaluate the impact of the production cut on prices before deciding at a meeting in Vienna in December whether to adjust the production quota further from its current level, OPEC Secretary General Alvaro Silva-Calderon told AFP on Thursday.

    Oil prices are currently at the high end of OPEC's target range of $22-$28 a barrel.
    Silva-Calderon countered criticism of the reduction saying “this level of price doesn't damage the world economy” and that despite the current prices there were signs “the economy is improving in some regions.”

    He predicted that in 2004 there would be “more oil on the market than demand” and said OPEC would adjust production if necessary. He refused to detail an exact OPEC response to falling prices.



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