Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member countries meeting in Vienna decided on Friday to maintain their production at 30 million barrels per day (bpd) despite a surplus in the market estimated at over a million barrels.
Oil ministers of member countries of the OPEC discussed over five hours oil production levels, prices, oil supplies from non-OPEC members and global oil stocks and decided to maintain the current production ceiling.
Kuwait's Deputy Premier, Finance Minister and Acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh said Kuwait is interested in maintaining the OPEC's role to keep a stable international oil market, and serve the interest of producers and consumers alike.
Although some members countries like Iran, Algeria and Venezuela have called for decreasing the production to shore up prices, the ministers reached a consensus at the end of the meeting and kept the output unchanged, amidst indications that crude oil demand would increase next year with projected global economic growth of 3.4 percent in 2016.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 168th OPEC meeting held in Vienna, the Minister Al-Saleh said the OPEC member states are more concerned about necessary market stability than the current oil price levels. Saying, "The prices are not the core point, but it's the market stability," the minister added that the decision would serve the interest of the international oil market, and ensure balance in the market's supply and demand mechanism.
The OPEC meeting came as crude oil prices rose on Friday, with Brent crude oil futures edging up to US$43.58 per barrel and US crude up to $40.63 from $40 per barrel on Wednesday. The 168th Ordinary Meeting of OPEC, which came to a close on Friday, was chaired by Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, of Nigeria. He congratulated Anas Khaled Al-Saleh on his appointment as Acting Minister of Oil of the State of Kuwait.
The conferees elected Dr. Mohammad Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, as President of the Conference for one year, with effect from 1 January, 2016, and Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, as Alternate President, for the same period.
They deliberated on the current status of negotiations at the COP-21/CMP-11 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and underscored the importance for all OPEC Member Countries to be actively and positively engaged in the negotiations. The conferees stressed that climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development are a major concern for us all.
They emphasized the significance of continued dialogue with other oil-producing countries and the importance of maintaining its energy dialogue with China, the European Union, the Russian Federation, and other industry participants and international organizations. They also welcomed the first high-level meeting of the OPEC-India Energy Dialogue later this month. At the meeting, OPEC also welcomed back returning member Indonesia, its 13th member. The cartel accounts for about a third of world oil output and does not include Russia or the United States, which rival Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producers.
The conference observed that, since its last meeting in June, oil and product stock levels in the OECD have continued to rise. The latest numbers see OECD and non-OECD inventories standing well above the five-year average. Having reviewed the oil market outlook for 2015, and the projections for 2016, the conference observed that non-OPEC supply is expected to contract in 2016, while global demand is anticipated to expand again by 1.3 million barrels per day.
In view of the aforementioned, and emphasizing its commitment to ensuring a long-term stable and balanced oil market for both producers and consumers, the conference agreed that Member Countries should continue to closely monitor developments in the coming months.
The conference appointed Eng. Mohammad Hamel, Algerian Governor for OPEC, as Chairman of the Board of Governors until 31 December, 2016, and Estevao Pedro, Angolan Governor for OPEC, as Alternate Chairman for the same period. It was decided that Abdallah Al-Badri, hwo has served two terms would continue as Acting Secretary-General until the end of 2016 pending the election of a replacement.
The conference approved the Budget of the Organization for the year 2016 and decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene on 2 June 2016 in Vienna, Austria.