Iran's OPEC governor predicts difficulty for oil market in 2001

Iran's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said Monday that if the organization continued with its current level of oil production, the oil market would face an oversupply in the second and third quarters of 2001.


TEHRAN�Iran's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said Monday that if the organization continued with its current level of oil production, the oil market would face excess supplies in the second and third quarters of 2001.

Last month, the organization agreed to boost output by 800,000 b/d to 26.2 million b/d, as of Oct. 1, representing the third production rise in 2000.

But Ardebili said that if OPEC output remained at the current level, there would be a crude surplus of 2.3 million b/d and 3.3 million b/d in the April-June and July-September periods, respectively, next year.

He said if demand for crude declined and OPEC did not trim its output, or did not abide by quotas, the oil market would face fluctuation.

Ardebili said the rise in crude demand in the oil market this year was estimated at 1.2 million b/d. Demand for OPEC crude had dropped by 400,000 b/d, while non-OPEC producers were pumping an extra 1.6 million b/d in the current year.

He said OPEC had contributed to an increase in global inventories by 2.1 million b/d in the second quarter of this year and by 2 million b/d in the third quarter.

Taking into account production by Iraq, which is not party to the OPEC agreement, the organization's output currently stands at 29.2 million b/d, with a 300,000 b/d contribution to global inventories.

Therefore, OPEC had contributed an increase, on average, of 1.1 million b/d to global inventories during this year, he explained.

Asked about the OPEC summit in Venezuela, Ardebili said it had been very successful.

He noted that the summit's final declaration was very strong and it served to ease the concerns of member states, adding that OPEC members would cooperate in the field of environmental protection.

Ardebili said they had also decided to hold regular OPEC summits.

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