December 14, 2011- OPEC ministers were close to making a decision to maintain oil production at the steady rate it currently is producing. They were also trying to mend the vast differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia that led to the previous meetings collapsing last June.
De facto leader of OPEC and Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi said before Wednesday’s meeting that, “There will be an agreement made.”
OPEC has been outputting over 30 million barrels daily and is expected to keep that rate of output for at least the next year. Nevertheless, there have been some differences among delegates. Some are saying there is a need to balance out the Libyan production, which has increased recently, with the eurozone lower growth estimate.
The conference’s current president and Iran oil minister, Rostam Ghasemi said the biggest challenge the oil market faces is the great uncertainty that affects growth throughout the world’s economies.
OPEC has reduced the 2012 forecast of world oil demand by over 600,000 barrels per day. Many observers have said the topic of Wednesday’s meeting will be whether or not to cut back on production since more oil is flowing out of Libya now that the unrest in the country is over.
The energy minister of Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez said, “The countries in the Gulf increased oil in June because of local unrest, and now must cut back.”