.contact us |.about us
News > International News ... ...
OPEC contains price rise with supply leak
( 2004-01-08 17:24) (Agencies)

OPEC is leaking extra supplies to contain high oil prices and would prefer crude down about $2 a barrel, OPEC President Purnomo Yusgiantoro of Indonesia said on Thursday.

Purnomo, Indonesia's energy minister, told Reuters in an interview that OPEC would prefer prices at $28 a barrel for a basket of crudes, down from more than $30 now.

"We would like to have prices a little bit down, at the top end of the ($22-$28 OPEC target) range," Purnomo said.

"OPEC has contributed what is necessary to produce to stabilize the price."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries faces a dilemma at a meeting next month when it may need to cut production quotas to counteract a seasonal fall in demand in the second quarter.

High world oil prices could make such a move politically difficult, drawing criticism from major importing nations like the United States.

OPEC's reference basket was last valued at $30.33, well above its official target range of $22-$28 a barrel. Benchmark U.S. crude futures traded on Thursday at $33.57 a barrel after hitting a nine-month high this week of $34.35.

Washington questioned OPEC policy last month after the cartel said high prices were justified by the weakness of the U.S. dollar, the currency of world oil trade, which had hurt producers' purchasing power.

Purnomo said supply leaks by OPEC over official output quotas were helping to contain the market and that crude should fall as northern hemisphere winter demand ebbs.

"The member countries are fully aware that they need to stabilize prices at times like now. That's the name of the game," said Purnomo.

"Prices are high today but approaching spring we expect the prices will come down and down because inventories are filling up."

A Reuters survey of OPEC output published on Wednesday found the cartel in December pumped nearly 1.6 million barrels per day above its official ceiling of 24.5 million bpd in place since November.

The OPEC president said a cut in output in February, widely expected by oil analysts, was not a foregone conclusion.

He said it was too early to judge whether or not lower supplies would be needed then to balance lower second-quarter demand.

"I would say it's really too early to say. A lot of analysts are saying that OPEC is meeting in Algiers to cut production but I would not say that yet," Purnomo said.

He said OPEC's Vienna-based secretariat was in the process of re-evaluating world crude supply-demand projections ahead of the meeting in Algiers on February 10.

"I think there is oversupply by March but I have asked the secretariat to calculate the overhang."

World demand in the second quarter normally falls short of supply but OPEC must decide whether the supply overhang is likely to be big enough to warrant an output cut.

  Today's Top News   Top International News
+Guangdong has a new suspected SARS case
( 2004-01-08)
+Experts: Pan-blue camp makes dangerous U-turn
( 2004-01-08)
+33,761 policemen dismissed
( 2004-01-08)
+Taipei told to stop playing with fire
( 2004-01-07)
+Movers and shakers in China's economy
( 2004-01-08)
+OPEC contains price rise with supply leak
( 2004-01-08)
+Pakistan launches operation against militants
( 2004-01-08)
+The moment Saddam was dragged from his hole
( 2004-01-08)
+Iraq WMD not imminent threat
( 2004-01-08)
+NASA scientists want Mars Rover 'down in dirt'
( 2004-01-08)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
  Related Articles  

+OPEC output cut sinks Asian shares

+OPEC stabilises output at 25.4m barrels per day

+OPEC to open taps to curb oil price spike

+OPEC ministers confirm 6% cut

        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved