OPEC, Naimi See Oil Output Flat Amid Rising Supply Outside Group

May 12, 2014 4:49 am ET

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- OPEC should keep pumping crude at about 30 million barrels a day in the near term amid rising global supply, according to the group’s Secretary General and Saudi Arabia, its largest member.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has no reason to change the current output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day at its next meeting on June 11 because oil markets are stable, Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum Minister Ali Al-Naimi told reporters in Seoul today. Supply and demand will remain “fairly balanced” throughout the year, according to comments from OPEC’s Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri, posted on website of the International Energy Forum.

“In the near term, OPEC production will remain steady around the 29-30 million barrels of oil per day level,” El- Badri said. “At present we are seeing growth in non-OPEC supply” and other producers in the group are making up for the supply shortfall from Libya, he said.

OPEC, which is responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s crude supply, produced 29.9 million barrels a day in April, the least since June 2011, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers and analysts. Production from Libya, the holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves, has plunged to 235,000 barrels a day as protests shut down oilfields and export terminals, according to state-run National Oil Corp.

“Libya will be accommodated once it starts bringing back its capacity,” El-Badri said. Shut Libyan production must come back quickly, he said.

OPEC will not discuss this year imposing a quota on growing output from Iraq, its second-largest producer, El-Badri said. Security and the development of new infrastructure remain challenges to the country’s plans to increase production, he said.

Iraq plans to pump 8 million barrels of oil a day by 2020 and become the world’s second-largest exporter of crude by 2030, the country’s Oil Minister, Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi, said in separate comments on International Energy Forum website yesterday. The nation’s output is around 3.25 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--With assistance from Heesu Lee in Seoul and Ann Koh in Singapore.