04 June 2015, Vienna – OPEC headed Thursday towards holding crude output levels on the eve of its production meeting, as oil prices slid back under $60 a barrel on concerns that the expected decision would further fuel oversupply.
Ministers attending a two-day OPEC seminar before Friday’s output gathering said they would be happier with prices between $75 and $80 a barrel to boost precious revenues and help balance their budgets.
However, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in July delivery dipped 25 cents to $59.39 a barrel on Thursday, as the market was plagued with stubborn fears over the supply glut.
Brent North Sea crude for July declined 16 cents to stand at $63.64 a barrel.
“We are still surviving — it’s not the situation we prefer of course. It all depends on the second half now for oil prices,” Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair told reporters in Vienna.
Asked if he was pleased with the current state of the market, Omair replied: “It is improving of course”.
He added: “If the price does not rise to $77 a barrel, then the Kuwaiti budget will in deficit.”
Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela have all appealed for a fair price for crude this week, but Saudi Arabia has expressed contentment with OPEC’s strategy.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose dozen members pump one third of the world’s crude, is still seeking to curb shale and deep-water oil producers that need high prices to make their operations profitable.