OPEC Ministers Ponder Output Levels
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zaganeh said on February 8th that OPEC may not need to cut production further when the group meets next on March 16th.
Zaganeh said that: “We must monitor the situation fully, and frankly I can’t predict what will happen in March, but now the situation is fine.” He indicated that he had “no objection” to the current OPEC basket price “at $25-26 a barrel.”
The price of the cartel’s basket of seven crudes actually stood at $26.90 on February 8th, an increase of almost $2.00 a barrel since the end of January after OPEC had agreed to slash oil production by 1.5 million b/d from February 1st.
But, Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili had said on February 4th that an additional output cut is likely in March if crude and product stocks continue to build.
Indonesian Oil Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said that his country could call for a larger reduction in production at the upcoming meeting. Yusgiantoro said that: “Indonesia may propose OPEC cuts of between 1.5-2 million b/d during the next OPEC meeting next month.”
He added that: “Oil prices are still fluctuating and there is uncertainty over whether Iraq will bring more oil to the market. If that happens, I’m sure prices will be depressed.”
Zanganeh said that OPEC may need to hold an extraordinary meeting in May to further evaluate market conditions.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)