Opec oil ministers are unlikely to change output policy at their March meeting if the current market situation continues, Opec Secretary-General Abdullah Al Badri said yesterday.
"If things stay as they are with the price at this level, I think ministers will be reluctant to do anything," said Badri. The price of benchmark US crude futures was close to $75 a barrel yesterday. "From $70-$85/90, I think this range is acceptable at this time," said Badri. "I don't think any price below $70 will permit any investment."
Badri said the oil market remained well supplied and that he did not expect oil demand to pick up until the last half of this year.
"We are seeing plenty of oil in the market, stocks are very high," he said. "The first half of this year is going to be very difficult with stocks building. We won't see a pick up in demand until the third quarter and fourth quarter of this year."
Badri said he would like to see tighter adherence in Opec to its production targets. The group had made only 55 per cent of its promised supply cutbacks in January, according to a Reuters survey. "We have to abide by our production allocations – this is very important at least for the first half of the year," he said.
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