OPEC may keep production level and crude above $65
„OPEC still has the capacity to influence the market, but not on all occasions,” said Sadek Boussena, a former OPEC president who is now an adviser to French bank Societe Generale SA. „The unpredictable factor is geopolitics. We can't predict what can happen in Nigeria, Iraq and Iran.” Oil has since slipped about 14% as concern eased about disruptions from Iran, the world's fourth-biggest producer, and as the fighting in Lebanon ended. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sept. 6 said the nation won't back a military strike on Iran. A benign Atlantic hurricane season has damped concern that oil and natural gas from platforms in the Gulf of Mexico will be disrupted. By this time last year, six hurricanes had developed, including Katrina, which shuttered most oil and gas production in the Gulf.
Algeria pumped 54% more than its quota in August, while Indonesia was 41% below, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg. „The quotas don't really reflect the potential of various countries,” Drollas said. Increasing demand in countries such as China has also been driving prices, while spare production capacity has declined because OPEC isn't investing enough, Drollas said. Traders are divided on whether Iran would curb oil exports. United Nations members including the US are considering sanctions in an effort to contain the country's nuclear ambitions. Iran, which last week defied a UN demand to halt uranium enrichment, said Sept. 6 it's ready to retaliate against any attack. Even a „symbolic cut” would push prices up, Norrish said. A two-day energy seminar in Vienna will follow the formal OPEC meeting, with ministers and executives from companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and Saudi Aramco scheduled to attend. (Bloomberg)
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