Most OPEC Ministers Say No Increase Needed; Saudi Minister Stays Mum

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Includes: DBO, OIL, USO
by: Judith Levy

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's OPEC meeting, most members of the cartel indicated over the weekend that they believe no increases in oil production are required at this time. Washington consultancy PFC Energy published a report Friday indicating that Saudi Arabia might favor a production increase of up to one million bpd, but Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi has not responded. The only OPEC minister to state publicly that the cartel might raise output was Iraqi oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani, who said, "[W]e will be discussing if we need to increase production slightly to meet increased demand." A production increase would likely tamp down the oil price, which recently exceeded $76/barrel. Kuwaiti Acting Oil Minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Aleem said, "There is no pressing need to increase OPEC production as the recent rise in prices was caused by international geopolitical developments and a shortage of refining capacity, especially in the United States." Summarizing the general consensus, OPEC President and UAE oil minister Mohamed al-Hamli said, "Supplies to the oil market are now sufficient."

Sources: Reuters, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, AP,
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