130th Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 5/2004
Vienna, Austria
31 Mar 2004

The 130th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on March 31, 2004, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Minister of Energy Mineral Resources of Indonesia and Head of its Delegation.

The Conference welcomed the Minister of Petroleum of Angola, the Minister of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman, the Minister of Energy and Mining of Sudan, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy of the Russian Federation, and the high-level representative from Mexico, whose presence at the Meeting is seen as renewed confirmation of these countries’ solidarity with the objectives of the Organization to stabilize the oil market.

The Conference reviewed the Secretary General's report, the report of the Economic Commission Board, the report of the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee (MMSC) — Members the Conference again thanked all those who worked on these reports for their untiring efforts on OPEC’s behalf — and various administrative matters.

Having reviewed the oil market situation and its immediate prospects, the Conference noted that high oil price levels remain predominantly a consequence of long positions of market speculators in the futures markets coupled with a tightening in the US gasoline market in some regions, and exacerbated by uncertainties arising from prevailing geopolitical concerns rather than purely a reflection of supply/demand fundamentals.

With a view to enhancing oil market stability, the Conference urges all parties concerned to undertake joint efforts to address structural problems and bottlenecks affecting the downstream oil industry, which have been contributing to recent price movements.

Notwithstanding prevailing high prices, the Conference observed that the crude oil market remains more than well-supplied as the world moves into the traditionally lower seasonal demand period. It further observed that crude stocks have been building in the past two months and are projected to continue this trend in the second quarter 2004. Therefore, the Conference re-confirmed the new production ceiling of 23.5 mb/d, effective April 1, 2004, agreed upon at the 129th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference held in February 2004 in Algiers , which will allow for accommodation of normal, seasonal stock build-up.

In reiterating this decision, the Conference reaffirmed the Organization’s intention to keep the market well-supplied and prices stable within the agreed price band of $22–$28/b for the OPEC Reference Basket of crudes. The Conference also agreed to continue to closely monitor market developments and to take appropriate and prompt action, as and when the need arises. With this in mind, the Conference confirmed that its next (Extraordinary) Meeting would take place in Beirut, Lebanon, on June 3, 2004.

The Conference passed Resolutions that will be published on May 1, 2004, after ratification by Member Countries.

The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will be convened in Vienna, Austria, on September 15, 2004, immediately prior to the OPEC International Seminar “Petroleum in an Interdependent World ” being held in Vienna on September 16 and 17, 2004.

The Conference expressed its appreciation to the Government of the Federal Republic of Austria and the authorities of the City of Vienna for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.