Crude prices are stable and the market has enough supply to meet demand, even amid geopolitical unrest in Europe and the Middle East, OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said today.
The OPEC basket, a weighted average of the main export grade from each of the group’s 12 members, has stayed above $100 for a record 200 days, according to data from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ Vienna-based secretariat compiled by Bloomberg.
“At present we see the oil market as well supplied,” El-Badri said today at a speech at an energy-awards event in Doha. “Supply is meeting demand and prices have been stable.”
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is poised to boost output as its second-biggest producer Iraq pumps at a 35-year high and Libya’s government makes progress in talks with rebels who control fields and export terminals in the country’s oil-rich east. Iraq’s production jumped to 3.4 million a day in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while rebels in Libya, which holds Africa’s biggest crude reserves, agreed on April 6 to let the government reopen two oil ports.
The OPEC basket slipped 96 cents, or 0.9 percent, yesterday to $102.16 a barrel, the secretariat reported today.
Tension between Russia and Ukraine is adding uncertainty to the economic recovery in OECD countries, El-Badri said. Growth can affect oil demand and influence prices.
OPEC supplies 40 percent of the world’s oil.
Shale oil from the U.S. is “a welcome addition as it adds depth and diversity to the market,” he said. OPEC forecasts crude and natural gas liqiuds output from U.S. shale to fall after peaking at 4.9 million barrels a day in 2018, he said.
“The question remains is how sustainable is this in the long term,” he said.
The group’s 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. They plan to meet next on June 11 in Vienna to review output targets.
Brent crude for May settlement advanced $1.85, or 1.7 percent, to end the session at $107.67 a barrel today on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. West Texas Intermediate oil for May delivery climbed $2.12, or 2.1 percent, to a one-month high of $102.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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