OPEC oil fluctuates around $43/barrel
By Dalga Khatinoglu
OPEC oil price plunged from above $107/barrel in mid-2014 to around $41.50 in min-January 2015 and fluctuated around $43 during the last week.
According to the latest report released by OPEC on Jan.22, the cartel's crude oil basket stood at $43.25/barrel on Wednesday, 21 cent more than the previous day. Fluctuation of OPEC crude around $43 continued while Brent and WTI (for delivering on March 15) was sold at $49.3 and $47.78 respectively on Wednesday.
OPEC's oil basket is currently made up of the Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).
OPEC's oil basket price was $107.89 in mid-June, but has been in dramatic decline, especially since October. In November 2014 the OPEC average basket prices amounted to $75.57 per barrel compared to $85.06 per barrel in October, according to the cartel's data.
Despite the ceiling level of 30 million barrels per day (mbpd) by OPEC, 12 members of this cartel produced 30.204 mbpd in December, above 142 thousand barrels per day more than the preceding month, according the OPEC's latest monthly report.
That's while the demand for OPEC crude is estimated at 29.1 mb/d in 2014 and In 2015, required OPEC crude is projected at 28.8 mb/d.
OPEC members held a meeting in ministerial level November 27, 2014 to evaluate the global oil market and the falling trend of the oil price. Iran and Venezuela wanted to lower the Cartel's oil output and set a new ceiling level below the current 30 mbpd level.
OPEC said that the demand for the organization's crude was estimated at 29.4 mbpd in 2014. In 2015, the figure is estimated to reach 28.9 mbpd.
Edited by CN
Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service
Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu