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To calm rising oil prices, as well as in reaction to production shortfalls in Venezuela, and the possibility of a disruption in Iraqi supplies due to war, OPEC ministers hiked their collective oil output ceiling 6.5%, to 24.5 million bpd. The output boost took effect on Feb. 1, 2003. Meanwhile, at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, OPEC Secretary-General Alvaro Silva-Calderón told attendees that this period of high prices “is not a crisis. It is transitory.” Both Silva-Calderón and Saudi Aramco President & CEO Abdallah Juman took pains to reassure participants that OPEC members can manage global oil supplies, even if Iraqis supplies are halted. “There is no lack of supply,” said Silva-Calderón. “The market is well-supplied.” He proposed that OPEC adopt rules to limit volatility, while insisting that his organization is not a cartel.
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