OPEC’s Kuwait Sees No Oil-Output Cut at November MeetingMahmoud Habboush and Anthony DiPaola
OPEC won’t cut its collective crude output when it meets this month in Vienna and global oil prices will stabilize once the surplus is absorbed by the market, Kuwait Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair said.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, meets Nov. 27 to debate supply. The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has a production target of 30 million barrels a day, pumped 30.974 million barrels a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“I don’t think there will be any cut in the production,” Al-Omair said at a conference in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. “We feel prices will settle down once surplus oil is absorbed.”
Oil tumbled into a bear market this year as supply expanded from the U.S. to Libya. OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have resisted calls to cut output while Libya, Venezuela and Ecuador have asked for action to prevent even lower prices.
Kuwait has no plans to cut its own crude production, which should increase to 4 million barrels by 2020, Al-Omair said yesterday. Kuwait produced 2.85 million barrels a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“What worries us is that some investors will not continue to invest, not us, others,” the United Arab Emirates’ Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said today at the conference. OPEC “will continue our commitment to balance the market, especially the U.A.E. as a member.”
Analysts are divided on what OPEC will decide on Nov. 27, with 10 of 20 surveyed last week predicting that the organization will announce an output reduction. BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and UBS AG are among those forecasting that the group will cut output with estimates for the reduction ranging from about 500,000 barrels a day to 1.5 million a day.
“OPEC is looking for a reasonable price where producers and consumers can live together,” Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said yesterday in Abu Dhabi.
“Everybody was really happy” over the last four years with prices ranging near $95-$110 per barrel, El-Badri said. OPEC doesn’t want oil prices so high that they hurt demand nor so low as to cause a drop in investment, he said.
Brent for December settlement fell 44 cents to $81.98 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12 p.m. Dubai time. The contract dropped 1.3 percent yesterday to close at the lowest level since October 2010. WTI lost 39 cents to $77.10 a barrel.
Oil will rebound by the second half of next year as supply and demand don’t justify the market’s collapse and prices are low enough to threaten investment in production, El-Badri said Nov. 6.
Weakness in the global economy and a significant increase in oil supply from different parts of the world is contributing to price volatility, Amin Nasser, senior vice president for upstream operations at Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, said at the Abu Dhabi conference. “I am confident that the long-term demand fundamentals remain robust, and our industry must remain focused on meeting this long-term demand.”
Oil markets shouldn’t be distracted by short-term price swings, Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer, energy, for Mubadala Development Co., said at the same conference. “The industry has always undergone short-term price fluctuations” and should be focused on long-term projects, he said. “The U.A.E. remains committed to supplying customers and partners.”