IEA Welcomes OPEC Display of Moderation

Friday, September 28, 2001
The Paris-based International Energy Agency has welcomed OPEC's decision not to make any further cuts in production. Despite a steep fall in oil prices since the terrorist attacks of September 11, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries today rejected the option of lowering its target for the seventh time this year. "A further cut would simply have added uncertainty to an already uncertain market," said Robert Priddle, executive director of the IEA. "That would not have been in the interest of producers or consumers." Priddle described the OPEC stance as a display of moderation. He also expressed appreciation of statements by OPEC countries and by the Organization's Secretary General, which have pledged to keep oil flowing to consuming countries in the event of any supply disruption. Commenting on the current state of oil markets, Priddle pointed out that, while crude and product stocks have been tight, demand has slowed recently because of weakness in the world economy overall. Decreased demand for jet fuel in the wake of the terrorist attacks will make it easier for refiners to meet demand for heating oil next winter and gasoline next spring.

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