MOSCOW: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said on Thursday the oil producers’ cartel is not planning to cut production despite the fall in crude prices over recent months and concerns about the possible addition of Iranian oil in the market.
“We met in December last year and we met in June this year. We decided to keep our
production at 30 million barrels a day, the same as before. We are not ready to reduce our production,” Badri said after a meeting in Moscow with Russia’s energy minister. OPEC at its last meeting in Vienna in June kept its output levels despite a supply glut, extending the strategy of oil powerhouse Saudi Arabia which aims to preserve market share and fend off competition from booming US shale.
Oil prices recently dropped to their lowest levels in months on the back of concerns over the global oversupply.
The fall followed a rebound in prices after a steep slump last year. Prices continued a slight recovery on Thursday following reports of a drop in US stockpiles.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in September climbed 33 cents to $49.12 a barrel compared with Wednesday’s close, while Brent North Sea crude for September gained 65 cents to $54.03 a barrel in London afternoon trade.
OPEC and Russia said in a joint statement after Thursday’s talks that indicators pointed to a possible “more balanced situation on the oil market and its stabilization” in 2016.
However, the possible return next year of oil from Iran following the landmark nuclear energy deal with world powers this month could create fresh tensions within OPEC, analysts say.