12 June 2012, Sweetcrude, ALGIERS – ALGERIA’s Energy Minister, Youcef Yousfi, has urged the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut its output quotas, if members have breached current ceiling of 30 million barrels per day (mbpd).
Yousfi was speaking ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the 12-member body in Vienna, Austria.
“I hope that we will find a consensus to correct the situation if it turns out that the ceiling of 30 mbpd has been breached”, Yousfi was quoted by Middle East Online newspaper to have told Algeria’s news agency.
Middle East Online reported at the weekend that OPEC, accounting for about a third of global oil supply, pumped some 31.62 mbpd in April, up 0.32 mbpd from March.
The International Energy Agency, which represents oil consuming nations, estimated OPEC production at 31.85 mbpd in April, the seventh consecutive month the group had increased output.
Yousfi argued that even if OPEC members had not exceeded their quota, oil ministers would discuss the recent fall in oil prices at their meeting in Vienna on June 14.
The price of oil has fallen sharply in the past three months, with New York felling a second day on Friday, heading for the longest run of weekly losses in more than 13 years, on speculation the economies of the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest crude consumers, will slow and curb fuel demand.
Bloomberg reported that oil for July delivery decreased as much as $2.72 to $82.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $82.23 at 9:15 a.m. London time.
Yousfi also pointed to rising stocks, which analysts have also noted as being partially behind the price slide, saying OPEC members needed to seriously analyse the situation if they continue to produce more than the 30 mbpd target.
OPEC oil output hit its highest level since 2008 in May at 31.80 million barrels per day. The output levels, according to a Reuter’s survey were boosted by Saudi Arabia, which kept production levels high in order to offset supplies restrains caused by sanctions on Iran.
OPEC will meet on June 14th in Vienna to discuss future production levels and sanctions against Iran.