OPEC president not worried by weaker oil prices
OPEC president Chakib Khelil said Monday, July 9, that current crude oil prices, now down to around $25 a barrel, did not worry the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Khelil, who is also the Algerian oil minister, said he had feared a much bigger fall in crude prices since oil stocks have swollen, adding that the current price level could last until September.
On June 13, a barrel of Brent North Sea crude for July delivery cost $29.80, while on Monday a barrel of Brent for August delivery had dropped to $26.48.
On July 2, before OPEC met in Vienna, Khelis had said the oil-producing cartel was worried about a "collapse" of oil prices because of weakening world demand and high stock levels.
Swollen stocks had mitigated the effect of a decision by Baghdad to take more than two million barrels of crude a day off world markets to protest US-British efforts to modify the UN sanctions regime against Iraq.
On Monday, Khelil said the situation had calmed down, but that OPEC would have more information on which to base its decisions by the end of the summer.
"We must wait until September to have a better picture of the evolution between supply and demand and the decisions that OPEC must take," Khelil was quoted by the official APS agency as saying.
"At the moment, the price of oil runs little risk of falling further," he said. OPEC decided on July 3 to maintain its production quotas, which do not include Iraq, at their current levels.
On Monday, oil prices eased as a heady pre-weekend rally ran out of steam. The OPEC basket price of seven crudes worldwide climbed to the cartel's target of $25 a barrel on Friday, from $24.22 on Thursday, the official OPECNA agency reported. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)