Opec agreed to raise its oil production ceiling by 700,000 b/d to 27.3mn b/d, up ...

Opec agreed to raise its oil production ceiling by 700,000 b/d to 27.3mn b/d, up 2.6% on the previous quota, at its latest meeting on 21 June. Individual member countries new output levels are: Algeria - 811, 000 b/d Indonesia - 1,317,000 b/d Iran - 3,727,000 b/d Kuwait - 2,037,000 b/d Libya - 1,361,000 b/d Nigeria - 2,091,000 b/d Qatar - 658,000 b/d Saudi Arabia - 8,253,000 b/d United Arab Emirates - 2,219,000 b/d Venezuela - 2,926,000 b/d TOTAL = 25,400,000 b/d Opec states that while this step is being taken in recognition of its responsibility to contribute to market moderation and stability, it is also being taken 'in the hope that it will meet with an appropriate response from consuming countries, especially those in Western Europe whose excessive domestic taxation of petroleum products, amounting to as much as 70% of the price to the final consumer, is the major cause of the high pump prices currently being paid. Those attending the Opec meeting also stressed that the current high level of crude prices was 'not due solely to market fundamentals, crude oil stock levels remaining adequate, but was also the consequence of market speculation,' while higher product prices were, in part, 'the result of new environmental regulations application in the US where the legislative introduction of reformulated gasoline has resulted in supply bottlenecks for consumers.

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