Meeting at their headquarters in Vienna, members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have decided to maintain OPEC’s output quota unchanged at close to capacity, even though the cost of crude has hit a five-month low. That is because the winter season is approaching when demand is higher and also because some supply worries continue. OPEC’s current output is near 28 million barrels per day. Demand this year is forecast to be just 84.8 million barrels per day. Oil prices have fallen 17% since touching a record $78.40 a barrel in mid-July.
Seham al-Marzouqi, head of the Kuwaiti delegation said they are balancing supply and demand: “OPEC has always been successful in dealing with matters like that and has always committed to ensure that the market is well supplied, and we are now not just well supplied but even over-supplied.”
OPEC’s been pumping at near its fastest rate for 25 years in order to supply growing economies and prevent price shocks. However several cartel members are now getting nervous about the degree to which world economic growth may slow and they would like to see production cuts later this year or early next year if prices continue to fall.