International: Worldwide oil production ///

Last year’s shaky global economy and political instability in several regions led to a second straight decline in worldwide oil and condensate production. Estimated output fell 1.0%, to 66.9 million bopd. Since averaging 68.3 million bopd during 2000, global production has lost 1.4 million bopd. In a classic “domino effect,” higher production will require greater demand. Yet, to achieve higher, sustained demand, a number of key economies must begin to show healthy recovery from the last two years’ doldrums. This recovery process, however, has been held hostage in recent months by uncertainties among companies, investors and consumers, alike, as to when and how the Bush administration will wage a war against Iraq. Throughout the last year, OPEC has tried mightily to balance the highs and lows with quota adjustments, both higher and lower, with mixed results.

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