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Opec's present quota system 'is dead'

Vienna, June 8, 2011

Opec's failure to reach an agreement on output leaves members free to produce at will, a senior Opec delegate said on Wednesday.   

'This agreement is not a rollover -- it means death to the existing quota system, an invitation for countries to do anything they want until the next Opec meeting,' the delegate told reporters.   

He said Saudi Arabia supplied 9.16 million barrels per day in May and the figure would be higher in June, but gave no further details. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Aal-Naimi said Opec's credibility had not been damaged by the group's failure to agree to raise output.

'The market will not see any shortage because we did not reach an agreement,' Al-Naimi told reporters.

Opec had an important role in maintaining balance in the world oil market, he said, and founder member Saudi Arabia had removed politics from the organisation and moulded it into an economic body.

He said four Gulf countries -- also including the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar -- had proposed at the meeting an increment of 1.5 million bpd over Opec's 28.8 million bpd current production including Iraq, for overall output of 30.3 million bpd.

But fellow Opec members opposed to the proposal were stubborn, he said. 'We insisted 1.5 must be added to the 28.8 to give us 30.3 million barrels per day,' Al-Naimi said. 'We spent three hours trying to convince them.'

'In my past 16 years as oil minister I have not seen such an obstinate position,' he said.

Al-Naimi said the group's next scheduled meeting will be on December14. 'What was said that we had a consensus to defer the meeting to three months from now -- we had no consensus,' he said. - Reuters




Tags: Oil | Opec | Crude | Naimi | Quota |

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