06/08/2015, 00.00
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Oil producing nations disregard OPEC targets, flood markets

Iran, Iraq and Libya are ready to boost production. Saudi Arabia has already reached its highest output in 30 years. Executives of major oil companies plan to expand. This trend is bound to continue as OPEC members face stiff competition from non-OPEC producers.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – No matter what OPEC says or does, its members are exceeding targets. In fact, Iran, Iraq and Libya said recently that they plan to add millions of barrels to the market this year. Saudi Arabia, the biggest member in the group, is already pumping the most in three decades.

Executives from the world’s biggest oil companies pledged to keep expanding by cutting costs and focusing on the most promising drilling sites.

 “High prices spurred the commercialization of an awful lot of oil that’s now ready to be sold in the market,” US analyst Ed Morse said. “The decline in demand is making it very difficult to sell oil when you’ve got not just the shale revolution, but Iran and Iraq and other OPEC countries wanting to produce a lot more.”

The 12-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has exceeded its own target of 30 million barrels a day for 12 straight months. In May, the group pumped 31.58 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia alone added 670,000 barrels a day between February and April. Output in April was 10.3 million barrels a day, the highest since the 1980s.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said lower prices are stimulating more demand. World demand rose 1.5 per cent last quarter from a year earlier whilst supply grew 3.1 per cent.

Iraq is set to increase exports by about 100,000 barrels a day this month as fighting with the Islamic State group spared its biggest oil-producing regions.

For his part, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh delivered a letter to the group telling them to make room for the country’s rising output.

Likewise, Libya’s emergency – war and extremists – may end by July or August, so that it could pump 1 million barrels a day, about double its current output.

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