After last week's decision, the level of spare production capacity in OPEC has fallen to an extremely low point.
According to MEES estimates, total immediately available spare capacity within OPEC now stands at less than 1 million b/d, two-thirds of which belongs to Saudi Arabia.
Significant spare capacity is presently available in only four countries: Saudi Arabia, Venezuela with some time lag, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, MEES said.
However, with the completion of remedial and maintenance work on the oil fields in progress in a number of OPEC producers - Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in particular - spare capacity is likely to be raised in the near future to around 2.3 million b/d.
Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali Naimi said in mid-September that work is presently underway to consolidate the kingdom's sustainable production capacity at 10.5 million b/d within 90 days.
In Venezuela, 700,000 b/d of production capacity was understood to have been lost due to lack of maintenance investment in 1999. Actual useable capacity was estimated to have declined from about 3.6 million b/d in 1998 to 2.9 million b/d in early 2000.
A crash program of maintenance investment has begun to restore sustainable capacity to 3.6 million b/d by the end of this year or early in 2001, MEES said.
Elsewhere, with the completion of two new gathering stations, Kuwait expects to add 200,000 b/d to its sustainable capacity early next year.
In Algeria, work is in progress to expand crude output capacity by around 90,000 b/d to around 950,000 b/d in the first half of next year, MEES said.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )