13 May 2007 - 13:19
  • News Code: 104514

LONDON: Opec must boost its oil output before the summer to prevent a sharp decline in consumer nations" crude oil stocks, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday.

Petrol supplies in top consumer the United States have sunk to a 16-year low for the time of year, pushing pump prices above $3 a gallon to near record levels, the adviser to 26 industrialised nations said in its monthly Oil Market Report.


The May report marked the third month running the Paris-based agency has urged the Organisation of the Opec to open the taps to lower prices and refill inventories.


Fuel inventories in the industrialised countries, which are members of the Organi-sation for Economic Co-operation and Development, have already have been drained by an "unusually high" 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) during the past six months, it said.


This coincides with Opec supply cuts totalling 1.7m bpd. While noting the constraints on petrol, Opec ministers continue to dismiss calls to pump more crude. They insist they are supplying enough to satisfy the 85.5m bpd oil market.


The group that pumps more than a third of the world"s oil decided to maintain current supplies at a meeting in March and is to meet next in September to chart production policy.


But the IEA says Opec must act before then. Demand for the 12 members" crude will rise by up to 400,000 bpd in the third quarter alone because of slower output from rival producers, it said.


Production from Opec stabilised at 30.3m bpd in April, according to the IEA, leaving 2.8m bpd of spare capacity.



News Code 104514

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