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During its meeting on Mar. 5, OPEC members agreed to keep output quotas at their previous levels, disregarding calls for members to increase production to ease the record high prices seen in February and March. OPEC President Chakib Khelil told reporters, “If the prices are high, definitely they are not due to a lack of crude.” OPEC crude supply fell by 130,000 bpd to 37.09 million bpd in February. The IEA reports that OPEC effective spare capacity remains near 2 million bpd.
Global oil supply increased by 190,000 bpd to 86.94 million bpd in February with increases in Canada, Mexico and the Caspian republics offsetting reductions in Norway and OPEC. According to the IEA, global refinery crude throughput remains low from poor refining economics, seasonal maintenance and operational problems. IEA’s 2008 global oil demand forecast is unchanged, remaining at 87.5 million bpd.
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