Saudi Arabia steered the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in November to protect its market share in the face of swelling U.S. crude output, rather than cut supplies to shore up prices as it did in the past.
Unmoved by the global crude glut savaging oil economies from Venezuela to Russia, OPEC on Friday announced it would keep pumping a nearly third of the world’s oil, not sparing even a drop from its daily output target of 30 million barrels.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries set its Saudi-conceived strategy of defending market share rather than prices in November. Since then, it has pumped ever more crude into global markets.
OPEC seems to have reached technical problems pushing its oil production beyond what appears to be a natural ceiling, as its crude exports fell an average 850,000 barrels in May despite a surge of Saudi oil.
Oil slumped last year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained its production limit at 30 million barrels a day, insisting that suppliers outside the 12-nation group must help tackle a global surplus.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ summit on June 5 to determine the group’s output will come three weeks before a deadline for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says it can add almost 1 million barrels to daily production within months of sanctions being lifted.
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