OPEC President: No Output Change Before Feb 10 Meeting

The President of OPEC said Monday that any decision by the cartel to change output won't be decided before the group's next meeting, scheduled for February, 10.

"According to the (price band) mechanism, we should increase output, but there are some non-fundamental factors we must take into account," Purnomo Yusgiantoro, also Indonesia's oil minister, told reporters when asked if OPEC will increase output by 500,000 barrels a day.

OPEC has pledged to keep its basket price within a $22-$28 a barrel range by raising output by 500,000 b/d when the basket price holds above $28 for 20 consecutive trading days, and cutting output when the price stays below $22 for 10 straight trading days.

The basket price has now held above $28/bbl for 20 consecutive trading days, the group's news agency Opecna said earlier Monday. The 20th day was reached Wednesday.

But an OPEC spokesman said Monday that OPEC is unlikely to implement its price band mechanism.

Last week, former OPEC President and Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said: "The mechanism is still there, but current high oil prices has nothing to do with supply. We have created this mechanism for normal (market) conditions...(so) we have to differentiate between the normal and abnormal factors in triggering it."

OPEC meets in Algiers February, 10 to review output. Purnomo said that the organization will keep a close eye on global oil market developments before deciding any new production levels.

Purnomo acknowledged that a secondary source pegged output from OPEC countries around 26.6 million b/d currently, above the official ceiling of $24.5 million b/d.