Iran Urges OPEC to Expand Production Output Quota

Member-nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OPEC ) should re-evaluate their current charts and slash output production to help acclimatize itself to the pending return of Libyan crude to the global markets as well as a potential increase in oil production from Iraq.

Oil production from OPEC's 12 members in November reached a total of 30.785 million barrels per day (bpd), its highest level in three years, according to the Middle East Economic Survey magazine. Saudi Arabia pumped the most from 9.5 million bpd in October to a high 9.9 million bpd in November.

The oil cartel's November output, at 27.94 million bpd, was almost 800,000 bpd higher than the previous month.

Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, according to state-run Mehr news agency, said OPEC members that helped maintain the organization's crude output this year in the absence of Libyan exports should already control production. Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, will forward the proposal on the Dec. 14 meeting of the organization.

Iraqi production was at 2.845 million bpd. Iraq is excluded from OPEC's quota system due to the country's unrest. OPEC supplies 40 per cent of the world's crude oil demand.

Crude for January delivery dropped $0.37 to $99.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $99.17 at 2:18 p.m. Singapore time. Prices are up 8.5 per cent this year after climbing 15 per cent a year ago.

Brent oil for January on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange shed $0.48, or 0.4 per cent, to $108.14 a barrel.

OPEC's official production quota without Iraq stands at 24.84 million bpd since January 2009. However most members have been aggressively producing to meet rising demand.

Kuwait and United Arab Emirates have both surpassed their OPEC quotas at 2.69 million bpd and 2.49 million bpd, respectively. Their registered individual quotas are only 2.22 million bpd each.

OPEC meets on Wednesday, possibly to decide on oil output levels.

The International Energy Agency had earlier said OPEC production, excluding Iraq, stood at 27.32 million bpd in October, or 2.48 mbpd more than the cartel's official target.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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