OPEC limited in ability to stabilize oil markets

07/19/2004
What if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted oil production quotas for the second time in as many months, and the market just shrugged?That is likely to be the case when OPEC ministers meet July 21 in Vienna. The second stage of a two-phase quota increase is scheduled to be implemented effective Aug. 1. Quota hike likelyDespite some mixed signals from OPEC ministers in recent weeks, the likelihood is that the 500,000 b/d quota increase will proceed on schedule. It would be the second of two hikes that ultimately would add up to a total of 2.5 million b/d; the first kicked in on July 1.Concerns over rising inventories and slipping oil prices had prompted the 10 members...
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