OPEC’s crude oil production is at a suitable level for the market and there is no talk of the cartel changing output when it meets in December, UAE energy minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Sunday.
A senior official from Angola, a fellow member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), later said he shared the minister’s view on OPEC’s output target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd).
OPEC, which pumps more than a third of the world’s oil, meets on December 4 in Vienna to decide whether to adjust the output target.
“There is no sign or something that we can tell you today to say we are increasing or decreasing the quota,” Mazroui told Reuters in an interview in the city of Daegu, about 300km southeast of South Korea’s capital and the venue of this week’s World Energy Congress.
“But what is certain is we will ensure the market is well-supplied.”
The United Arab Emirates, which will bid to host the congress in 2019, produced 2.7 million to 2.8 million bpd of crude last month, Mazroui said, but he declined to reveal this month’s production.
OPEC’s September output was the lowest since October 2011, when the group pumped 29.81 million bpd, according to Reuters surveys, and leaves supply a mere 70,000 bpd above its output target of 30 million bpd.
The cartel again lowered the forecast demand for its crude in the fourth quarter and 2014 in a monthly report on Thursday, saying that production remains higher than next year’s expected demand despite a plunge in Iraqi and Libyan output.
Asked about current oil prices, Mazroui said that about $100 a barrel is “fair and sustainable” for producers and does not harm the market.
Brent crude rose above $117 in August on the disruption of Libyan supply and the prospect of U.S. military action against Syria. In the past four weeks it has ranged between $107 and $112 a barrel.
On the sidelines of the World Energy Congress, Angola’s vice minister for petroleum, Anibal Silva, described current prices as “good”.
Asked about the possibility of OPEC changing the output target at its December meeting, Silva said he didn’t think so, noting the market equilibrium at present.
The UAE oil minister, meanwhile, said that his country’s production capacity will increase to 3.5 million bpd by 2017, regardless of any delay in its oil concession process. Its current licences expire at the start of next year.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) expects to receive bids this month from companies hoping to run the ADCO concession for decades to come. ADNOC sources have said that it will take three or four months to study the offers and submit recommendations to the Supreme Petroleum Council.
ADNOC holds a 60 per cent controlling stake in ADCO, while oil giants ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP, each hold 9.5 per cent stakes.
Mazroui separately said that construction of four nuclear reactors in the UAE is running to schedule. The plants are due to be operational in 2020 and the UAE expects them to reduce its climate-warming carbon emissions by 12 million tonnes a year.
The minister also insisted that there are no safety concerns over the project, which was awarded to a South Korean consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp.
South Korea has been embroiled in a scandal over fake safety certificates for parts in its nuclear reactors.
“We are confident that our partners will deliver the project safe,” Mazroui said.