Tuesday, March 16, 2010

OPEC Shouldn’t Change Quotas or Pump More, Libya Says

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- OPEC doesn’t need to change its oil production quotas this week, and there’s no requirement for the group to pump at a higher rate than it already is, Libya’s top oil official said.

“There’s no need for any change,” Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s state-run National Oil Co., told reporters at his hotel in Vienna today. “The market is oversupplied. We’re going to call for compliance” with official quotas.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets March 17 at its new headquarters in the Austrian capital to determine production quotas for the next few months.

OPEC, supplying about 40 percent of the world’s oil, is meeting as production exceeds its quotas by the equivalent of a supertanker of crude a day. Forty-two of 44 analysts surveyed last week by Bloomberg predict the organization will maintain its official quota at 24.845 million barrels a day at this week’s meeting.

Libya has “no complaints” about today’s oil prices, Ghanem said. Crude oil futures for April delivery were trading at $79.78 a barrel, down $1.46, at 7:36 p.m. Vienna time, on the New York Mercantile Exchange

Earlier today, in comments published on the state company’s Web site, Ghanem said demand for OPEC’s own crude may not rise this year, and may actually fall, because the growth in global demand will be absorbed by greater production from non-members.

“For example, the U.S. and Russia are expected to increase their production,” Ghanem said in the statement.

OPEC’s 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Iraq is exempt from the quota system.