The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) oil ministers said Thursday the time for reducing their
oversupply of world markets has not yet come, as they do not want to
hurt global economic growth.
"We don't want to give undue shocks to the markets," Kuwait's Oil Minister Hani Abdulaziz Hussain told reporters shortly before OPEC's 12-member countries started their regular summer meeting in Vienna.
He was referring to the possibility that a formal lowering of the cartel's production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) would push up prices, at a time when markets are worried about the pace of world economic growth and about the eurozone crisis.
OPEC has been producing more than 1.5 million bpd above its target, and prices fell below $100 per barrel in June, leading some of the group's members to call on OPEC's biggest producer Saudi Arabia to lower its output.
"I think the European crisis is part of the problem, because the state of the economy as it stands now is quite alarming, and the price of oil reflects that situation," said Mohamed al-Hamli, the United Arab Emirate's energy minister.
His Quatari counterpart Mohamed al-Sada said the market was slightly oversupplied, but added: "We do expect that demand is going to be stronger in the second and third quarters, and hopefully that demand helps balancing the supply."
The price for Brent benchmark oil brand slid for a sixth day in a row, to $96.98 per barrel.
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