OPEC president says members have lost 700 billion USD
With Deutsche Bank forecasting a barrel of oil at 40 USD in 2009, Opec president Chakib Khelil said members of the cartel have lost about 700 billion US dollars because of falling crude prices.
Oil prices have fallen 60% from their 147 USD peak, prompting speculation Opec will cut output again to boost prices. However, speaking to Algerian newspaper El Khabar, Mr Khelil said Opec was unlikely to make a decision this month. He said the following meeting on 17 December would be "the most important" as the cartel would get necessary data. The data will show whether Opec previous output cuts have been applied by its members. The cartel, which controls 40% of the world's oil supply, agreed on a 1.5 million barrel-a-day reduction last month. On Wednesday, US light, sweet crude stood at 54.47 USD a barrel, while Brent crude cost 51.84 USD a barrel. "The Cairo meeting [on 29 November] is considered as an internal debate, while the meeting scheduled in Oran [on 17 December], will be more important in a sense that we will obtain, by that time, more information about the oil market trend," El Khabar quoted Mr Khelil as saying. "All members... are very concerned about the economic situation which has worsened in the United States and Europe who have entered into a recession, followed by Japan" underlined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries president. The Deutsche Bank report argues that greater and more efficient refining capacity plus lesser demand will see the crude price plunge as low as 40 USD.