OPEC Raises Output Limits, Agrees to Restore Quota System

OPEC ministers have agreed to curb excess oil production and will raise official output targets effective January. In January 2003 the production limit will be raised to 23 million from 21.7 million barrels per day, according to a report from Reuters. The cartel believes the quota increase of 1.3 million barrels per day and the agreement to reduce overall production to meet this new level will help to keep prices between $22 and $28 per barrel. Members of the cartel have expressed strong agreement with the new limits and have agreed to comply. The chronic quota busting has pushed recent output three million barrels a day over the old supply target.

Forecasts from the Paris-based International Energy Agency estimate that if OPEC keeps pumping unchecked it will overwhelm world demand next year by 1.8 million barrels a day on the 77 million bpd world market, causing a huge over supply.