HB „The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has been monitoring with concern the continued rise in crude oil prices on the global markets. OPEC continues in its efforts to ensure that the market is adequately supplied with crude oil at prices acceptable to both producers and consumers. Since the Beirut Meeting of the Conference, which decided a further increase in the production ceiling to 25,5 mb/d in July and to 26 mb/d in August, OPEC-10 production has continued to follow an upward trend to meet the larger-than-expected growth in demand.
According to initial reports, total OPEC output reached well above 29 mb/d in July, with OPEC-10 production reported at around 27,5 mb/d, which is about 2 mb/d above the July ceiling. OPEC-10 production is expected to rise further in August, with total OPEC production, including Iraq, approaching 30 mb/d. OPEC Member Countries are currently in close and ongoing consultations to consider what additional measures are needed, if any, and the Organization reiterates, at the same time, the Conferences' expressed readiness to take the decisions that may be required, at any time.
In this regard, OPEC continues to hold, at present, a spare production capacity of around 1 million-1,5 million b/d, which would allow for an immediate additional increase in production. Furthermore, in response to expected future demand growth in the coming years, Member Countries have plans in place to further increase production capacity by around 1 mb/d towards the end of this year and in 2005. In addition, plans for additional capacity expansion are available and could be enacted soon. However, this capacity would, typically, become available around 18 months after commencement.
The Organization, once again, wishes to reiterate its commitment to maintaining market stability and ensuring a timely response to the supply needs of the market.“