OPEC Keeps Production Levels and Dismisses Shale “Scarecrows”

Oil refineries

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Oil ministers from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (or, OPEC) member countries see no reason to temper oil production in 2014. Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said he is “optimistic the market will stay balanced and stable next year,” and that shale gas will not threaten either Saudi Arabia or OPEC. Al-Naimi was speaking at a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (or, OAPEC) in Doha, Qatar.

Al-Naimi forecast stability for the oil market in 2014. ”God willing, there will not be any oversupply. We know that the world consumes more than 30 billion barrels a year, and any new supply will be welcome,” Al-Naimi said. The Times of Oman carried his remarks, as well as those by other OPEC leaders.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Mustafa Al-Shemali also does not perceive shale gas to be a threat. ”OPEC can meet demand for years to come, so don’t make shale oil a scarecrow for OPEC and other producers,” he remarked. Oil Minister for Libya, Abdulbari Al-Arusi, reportedly said the country is ready to use force to reopen rebel held oil export ports. Iran is also preparing to return to the world-oil stage, now that sanctions on the country by the U.S. have been eased.