OPEC set to hold line on output, setting aside Iran dilemma

Wed Jun 3, 2015 8:43am EDT
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By Reem Shamseddine and Alex Lawler

VIENNA (Reuters) - OPEC is set to carry on pumping oil nearly flat-out for months more, content that last year's shock market therapy has revived demand and knocked back growing competition.

With oil prices having stabilised at around $65 a barrel, some $20 above their January lows, there's little appetite within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to modify production limits or address Iran's request to give it more room in the market as sanctions ease.

"There is consensus among Gulf OPEC countries, and others, to keep the ceiling unchanged," a senior Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters late on Tuesday after an informal meeting of the four core Gulf Arab OPEC members earlier in the day.

Iraqi oil minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said there was "optimism and general acceptance with the current situation".

The group meets on Friday following a two-day seminar featuring the chief executives of the world's biggest energy groups, including BP (BP.L: Quote) and Exxon (XOM.N: Quote), companies whose fortunes have been abruptly altered by OPEC's decision to abandon efforts aimed at sustaining oil prices at more than $100 a barrel in favour of defending market share.

"Nobody wants to rock the boat," the Gulf source said. "The meeting is expected to be smooth sailing."

OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on Wednesday that it would likely be a brief meeting.

"Everything is very clear," Badri said.   Continued...

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists during the OPEC seminar ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 3, 2015.  REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger