OPEC Ministers Talk Capacity
Several OPEC ministers suggested on September 13th that their countries are doing their part to ensure that oil markets receive more oil to bring prices down, after the group’s 800,000 b/d production boost decision on September 10th was received poorly by the oil markets.
Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said that the oil cartel will boost output again by 500,000 b/d, should crude prices remain high, based on the price band mechanism that OPEC adopted in March. According to Khelil, “We still have the mechanism running, and we will be ready to pump at least 500,000 b/d more if the prices stand beyond $28 a barrel.”
The Algerian oil official insisted that that his country has the spare capacity to meet its new OPEC quota as of October 1st. It gains an additional 25,600 b/d for a new allocation of 836,000 b/d. Khelil said that: “We have an output capacity of 900,000 b/d, and we will produce nearly 837,000 b/d in accordance with our quota fixed by OPEC.”
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah, on his part, said that: “In Kuwait we are now producing at our maximum capacity in order to satisfy the world market.” The emirate’s quota will increase by 64,000 b/d effective October 1st for a new allocation of 2.1 million b/d. Kuwaiti Finance Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah raised the prospect of a tanker shortage, if OPEC responded to further calls for a hike in output.
In an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Watan, on September 13th, the finance minister said that: “[Industrialized nations] are asking for a production increase without knowing if there are enough tankers to lift the additional crude.” He went on to say that: “We [OPEC nations] are not the reason behind the high rise in oil prices, but the reasons are psychological, a rise in demand and the inability to market [products].”
( oilnavigator )