OPEC Upstream Spare Capacity in the Medium Term
Increases in capacity reflect the significant efforts by OPEC Member Countries and are a clear reflection of OPEC's policy laid down in both its Statute and Long-Term Strategy, in particular that of "supporting security of supply to consumers", by expanding production capacity in such a way as to not only meet the increased demand for its oil, but also to "offer an adequate level of spare capacity".
OPEC Member Countries continue to expand upstream capacity. This should be sufficient not only to satisfy increases in the amount of oil OPEC is asked to provide, but also to provide a comfortable cushion of spare capacity.
Spare OPEC crude oil capacity is set to stabilize at around 8 mb/d over the medium-term, rising from an average level of around 4 mb/d in 2011.