OPEC may agree to further 500,000 bpd hike
OPEC might agree to raise its production by a further 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the price of oil, currently nudging 35 dollars a barrel, does not fall, Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said Wednesday.
"The adjsutment mechanism is always in operation, and if it doesn't allow the price at least to drop to 28 dollars a barrel, OPEC is disposed to raise its production again by 500,000 barrels a day," Khelil said.
The OPEC mechanism introduced in March makes automatic adjustments to production levels if the barrel price strays outside a 22-28 dollar band.
It allows a 500,000 barrel a day increase if the price climbs above 28 dollars for more than 20 working days, and a similar decrease in production if the price drops below 22 dollars for 10 working days.
With oil prices hitting decade highs recently, OPEC agreed to raise production by 800,000 barrels a day at a ministerial conference on September 10.
Khelil said that the current high prices were due to speculation on refined products, while US refineries were running at full capacity to build up winter stocks.His comments followed similar indications from other OPEC members that another production increase might be on the cards in an attempt to bring prices down.
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Rilwanu Lukman said in Jakarta that if necessary the cartel would act next month."If during the month of October prices remain stubbornly high, then we will do something in October, if necessary," Lukman told a press conference Wednesday.
"We stand ready if necessary to put an extra 500,000 barrels within October," he said.
Current OPEC president, Venezuelan Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez, suggested Tuesday in Caracas that the group could pour another 500,000 barrels per day onto the marketplace in the next 20 days if prices do not fall.—AFP.
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