Official: No Oil Shortage Globally

Tuesday, September 7th 2004, 10:15 am
By: News On 6

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ The president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday that there is no shortage of oil in global markets. Oil prices were lower in advance of the market opening in New York.

Purnomo Yusgiantoro said oil production in the 11 OPEC nations, including Iraq, is ``29 million to 30 million barrels every day.''

World oil production is running ``1.5 million barrels every day above demand, based on our forecasts,'' Purnomo told reporters at the World Energy Congress in Sydney.

``There is enough oil in the market,'' said Purnomo, who is also Indonesia's mines and energy minister.

Huge demand from the United States and China, along with fears of terrorism, have pushed prices to two-decade highs this year. OPEC oil ministers are set to meet in Vienna later this month to discuss ways to bring prices down.

The current production estimate includes oil from Iraq, Purnomo said.

``The problem with Iraqi production is that there is disturbance _ it is on and off _ but their target is 1.9 million to 2 million'' (barrels), he said. Iraqi oil pipelines have been repeatedly targeted by saboteurs.

Purnomo said OPEC is studying proposals to increase the OPEC marker price to $26-$34 per barrel from the current $22-$28 range, due to inflation and the U.S. dollar's depreciation. The current price band was set in 2000.

Asked if there is a chance that OPEC will cut production in the wake of recent price falls, Purnomo said it will look at the supply and demand situation at the Vienna meeting.

``Demand from China, India and the U.S. is still strong,'' he said.

Asked whether the oil price is hurting global economic growth, Purnomo said a $45-$50 price range is ``still OK.''