Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries including Iran and Venezuela agreed that the group should set a production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, an OPEC delegate said.
The group may not allocate individual quotas to each of the 12 nations because there may be disagreement on how the total oil output should be distributed, the person said, declining to be identified because the matter hasn’t been decided.
Oil ministers are arriving in Vienna for their meeting tomorrow, when they will decide output levels for the first half of 2012. OPEC’s last gathering in June broke up without consensus when six members including Iran and Venezuela opposed a push to pump more oil by Saudi Arabia and three other Gulf nations, which went ahead with an increase regardless to make up for the Libyan supplies lost during the armed rebellion.
“It’s not a matter of cut,” Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said. “We have to accommodate again the Libyan production but maintain the same level of production, not increasing.”
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he’s happy with OPEC’s current output amid demand from “all over,” while Iran called on the group to rein in production.
The world’s biggest crude exporter pumped 10.047 million barrels a day in November, al-Naimi said yesterday, the most in at least three decades. Iran, the second-largest OPEC producer, expects oil prices to fall next year unless the group’s members comply with output quotas and rein in supplies to accommodate rising exports from Libya and Iraq, the Persian state’s OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said.
OPEC last set a quota in December 2008, when the group announced record supply cuts. The 11 members that are subject to formal limits last month pumped 2.81 million barrels a day more than the 24.845 million-barrel agreed ceiling, a Bloomberg survey showed. Iraq is not bound by a limit.
The group will need to produce 30.1 million barrels a day next year to balance global crude supply and demand, its secretariat said today in its monthly report. The International Energy Agency estimates that OPEC will need to pump 30.2 million barrels next year.
OPEC’s 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
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