OPEC Will Probably Maintain Current Output Target, Delegates Say

OPEC will probably stick with its current production target as demand for its crude next year will be at a similar level, said three delegates from the group.

The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will make that decision in two days, when ministers meet in Vienna, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions are private.

The three delegates spoke to Bloomberg before Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi arrived at his hotel in Vienna.

“The market is doing well for the past two years, price is doing well, supply and demand in equilibrium, inventories are in the right position,” al-Naimi told reporters. “The market is in the best condition it can be.”

Rising supply from outside OPEC, including surging U.S. shale oil production, has coincided this year with disruptions in some members, such as Libya and Iraq, while Iranian exports remain curtailed because of sanctions. A Bloomberg News survey last week showed 22 out of 24 analysts and traders expect OPEC to keep its target unchanged.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer, and some of its allies may nevertheless need to cut supply next year to keep prices stable amid prospects for increased pumping from other members, according to the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies and Citigroup Inc. in New York.

Rising non-OPEC output means that the amount of crude required from the organization, known as the call on OPEC, will decline in 2014. The group will need to pump an average of 29.6 million barrels a day next year, down from 29.9 million this year, according to the group’s secretariat’s latest monthly report, published on Nov. 12.

To contact the reporters on this story: Grant Smith in Vienna at gsmith52@bloomberg.net; Maher Chmaytelli in Vienna at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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