OPEC decides to keep oil output steady

09:26, March 18, 2010      

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President of the OPEC conference and Ecuadorian Oil Minister Germanico Alfredo Pinto Troya addresses a news conference in Vienna, Austria, on March 17, 2010. OPEC oil ministers decided on Wednesday to keep their output unchanged after a conference of the 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. This is the fifth consecutive time since last year that OPEC decided to maintain the production quotas at the same level. (Xinhua/Liu Gang)

OPEC oil ministers decided on Wednesday to keep their output unchanged.

The decision was declared at the end of a conference of the 12- nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

This is the fifth consecutive time since last year that OPEC decided to maintain the production quotas at the same level.

Since last October, the OPEC oil price remained around 70-80 U. S. dollars a barrel.

However, President of the OPEC conference and Ecuadorian Oil Minister Germanico Alfredo Pinto Troya said the global economic recovery in 2010 remained uncertain and uneven, and the oil market might be significantly affected.

The international oil price is therefore still fragile and requires all parties, including OPEC and non-OPEC producers as well as consumers to play their role to make it stable, Troya said.

Since 2009, OPEC has ordered a production ceiling of 24.84 million barrels per day.

At a press conference after the meeting, OPEC Secretary General, Abdalla S El-Badri, said that OPEC has enough crude oil production capacity to meet the international oil demand.

OPEC crude oil production accounts for about 40 percent of world oil supply. Its changes in production have therefore significant effects on international crude oil prices. However, the decision of OPEC with the same production quota this time is not surprising.

Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia Ali el Naimi said before the meeting that the current international crude oil "market is equilibrious and the price is suitable, " so there is no reason to "break" this balance.

Quite a few of OPEC officials also believed that under the present economic situation and oil prices, it is unnecessary for OPEC to adjust its oil output quota.

Given the uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment and world oil demand, the OPEC Secretariat will continue to closely monitor developments in the months ahead.

In response to a sharp decline in oil prices, at the end of 2008, OPEC had twice reduced the output quota by a total of 4.2 million barrels to 24.8 million barrels per day.

However, along with the economy recovery and the growth in oil price since last year, the production of some OPEC members has exceeded the production ceiling. Data show that in February this year, OPEC has only implemented 53 percent of production quotas.

Source: Xinhua
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