OPEC Defends Output Capacity, Blames Others
Venezuelan Oil Minister and OPEC President Ali Rodriguez on September 14th suggested that OPEC could pump all of its spare crude production capacity within two months if action was needed to rein in inflated crude prices.
Rodriguez has said that the oil cartel could pump an extra 2 million b/d to lower prices following the market’s disapproval of OPEC’s September 10th announcement to increase its production ceiling by 800,000 b/d to 26.2 million b/d effective October 1st.
The Venezuelan oil official said that, although some OPEC countries were already producing at near capacity, others “like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have enough spare capacity to respond to more demand.”
OPEC also released a statement on September 14th that argued that, while the group had done more than its share to stabilize prices, there are factors out of its control.
Noting that OPEC has three times this year alone acted to raise output by a combined 3.3 million b/d, the statement said that the increased volumes have brought “supply to the market to levels well in excess of anticipated oil demand.”
The statement continued, saying that: “ … OPEC feels it is appropriate to emphasize to the public that the real reasons for the current market volatility are the shortages in the products markets caused by bottlenecks in the refining industry, speculation in the futures market, manipulation of the Brent market due to the dwindling volumes of this crude, and widening differentials between light and sweet and heavy-sour crudes.”
The responsibility for high product prices in the West, the statement said, “lies fairly and squarely on the shoulders of those governments that see fit to impose exorbitant levels of taxation on petroleum products.”
( oilnavigator )