VIENNA – OPEC oil ministers say they will stick to present output levels but seek to end overproduction by some members.
The decision Sunday means there will be no cutbacks from production levels established in December.
It also translates into pressure on members of the 12-nation producer group who are exporting more oil than their quotas call for.
The 11-members under production quotas are overshooting their joint daily target level of just under 25 million barrels by about 800,000 barrels a day.
Earliuer, Iraqi oil minister Hussein Al-Shahristani said OPEC had agreed to keep current production levels unchanged until May .
“It’s a rollover until May,” Al-Shahristani said after a key production meeting in the Austrian capital.
Ministers from the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said the first item on the agenda was tighter enforcement of agreements since September to lower supply targets by 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Consumer nations had put pressure on the group to avoid pushing oil sharply higher, which could inhibit any economic recovery.
The International Energy Agency, which represents consumer countries, has said cheaper oil amounted to a trillion-dollar financial stimulus and Barack Obama, president of the world’s biggest energy consumer the United States, called Saudi King Abdullah last week.
Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil has been the most forthright in stating further action was needed.
“If OPEC cuts now it is keeping the upper hand, if it sticks to compliance then it is leaving the upper hand to the market.”
Moscow has sent a high-level delegation, including Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, to attend Sunday’s meeting as an observer. – Reuters