OPEC concerned on IEA oil market outlook
Some Opec member countries are concerned that revisions by the International Energy Agency for this year’s oil market outlook are contributing to price volatility, Opec delegates said yesterday, according to The Kuwait Times
"The IEA reports make changes to their numbers creating uncertainty in the oil market," said one senior delegate, quoted by the Kuwait Times. "This uncertainty makes a contribution to instability."
OPEC insiders were particularly perturbed about last week’s monthly IEA oil market report which revised down the outlook for global oil demand growth this year by 140,000 barrels a day to 1.5 million bpd, the Kuwait Time wrote.
In an editorial in last week’s oil market report, the IEA said OPEC could not stabilize oil prices at the top end of the $22-$28 range regardless of economic conditions.
"This does not help create a stable oil market," another Opec delegate said. Oil fell about $2 a barrel last week, partly, said traders, as a result of the IEA revisions, according to the Kuwait Times.
But prices remain high, with Brent blend at $27 and the basket of Opec cruds used to gauge the market at $25 -- the middle of the group’s preferred $22-$28 price range.
The Paris-based agency, set up in 1974 to protect the interests of major oil consuming nations, said a slowdown in the world economy would mean less oil demand growth this year than previously expected.
On Monday OPEC's Sec. General Ali Rodriguez said to the press "There has been no consensus as yet on a possible output cut," the OPEC Secretary-General said. "We are analyzing the problem with slower world economic growth. It's too early to say."
But to some OPEC is considering a further output cut, press reports surfaced on Friday that Opec’s largest producer Saudi Arabia was leaning towards another production cut.
Signs that OPEC is considering another output cut also are helping keep prices up, traders have said to news agencies.
An important Gulf source said last week that another Opec reduction could come in March because inventories were growing and the outlook for demand growth was poor, reported a news agency
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