According to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the world’s GDP growth for 2015 is projected at 3.3%, with this expected to be at a slightly higher level of 3.5% for 2016. The 167th Meeting of the Conference of the OPEC was held in Vienna, Austria, on June 5, 2015 and did not give any strong direction on the oil markets with the WTI stuck around $58-60 per barrel albeit slightly below its 6-month record high of $63.61 per barrel reached on May 6, 2015.
The OPEC stressed on the importance of “maintaining dialogue with other oil-producing countries,” and recalled that another technical meeting of oil and economic experts from both OPEC and Non-OPEC countries will convene before the end of 2015. The latters, in addition to OPEC member country Venezuela, are still very concerned about the sharp decline in oil prices since June 2014 mainly caused by oversupply and speculation, according to OPEC, but that “has now abated, with prices moving slightly higher in recent months,” said a communiqué. However, with stocks levels “well above 5-year average,” the forecast increase in world oil demand in the second half of 2015 and in 2016 should be rather limited.
“Expected non-OPEC supply growth this year is just below 700,000 barrels per day, which is only around one-third of the growth witnessed in 2014,” explained Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry and Alternate President of the OPEC Conference. In view of the foregoing, the OPEC resolved to maintain the 30 million barrels per day (mb/d) ceiling, confirming its “commitment to a stable and balanced oil market,” while closely monitoring developments in the coming months given the “current market uncertainties.”