OPEC releases Annual Statistical Bulletin 2002

No 12/2003
Vienna, Austria
22 Sep 2003

OPEC was successful last year in maintaining market stability and keeping prices within its preferred range of $22-28/b, according to the 2002 Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB), released today.

The yearly statistical review showed that the OPEC Reference Basket price began the year at a low of $18.33 for January and then ended in December at a high of $28.39. The Reference Basket recorded a yearly average of $24.36, just shy of the middle point of the band. Since its adoption in 2000, the price of the Reference Basket has averaged $25.30/b, an achievement largely attributable to OPEC’s proactive production management.

However, this achievement has not come without some cost to the Organization’s Member Countries. In 2002, OPEC cut its production ceiling by 1.5m b/d, which was on top of the 3.5m b/d in cuts made in 2001. These reductions were essential to bringing oil prices back to fair and reasonable levels. Although prices did stabilize in the course of the year, OPEC Member Countries still saw a four per cent drop in petroleum export revenues, representing a decline of $8.5bn, compounding a substantial fall of $39.1bn for the year before, according to the ASB.

Any drop in oil prices has an especially strong impact on the economies of OPEC Member Countries, as the data assembled by the Secretariat shows oil revenues make up an average of 50 per cent of total OPEC export earnings, rising to more than 90 per cent in some Member States. “As all sides have benefited from fair and stable prices, it would be unreasonable to expect OPEC Members to continue to bear this heavy responsibility alone,” Secretary General Dr Alvaro Silva-Calderón said in his foreword to the ASB. “For this reason, a growing need exists for enhanced cooperation from all producer nations — in terms of both coordination and restraint — to meet the ongoing challenge of market stability.”

The ASB also highlights the important role OPEC plays as the world’s primary energy supplier, a role that is expected to expand in the coming decades. The ASB figures show OPEC’s share of total world proven crude oil reserves stands at 79.4 per cent, up slightly from the year before. As non-OPEC countries are producing at a much higher rate than OPEC Members, the call on OPEC is expected to increase over the next two decades, as non-OPEC production declines and demand continues to increase.

According to the OPEC Secretary General, producing at present rates, OPEC Member Countries have reserves sufficient to meet the current level of demand through to the end of this century. “Although demand is certain to rise, this comparison does give some indication of the size of Member Country reserves,” Dr Silva-Calderón said.

The ASB also shows that, in addition to petroleum, OPEC Member Countries are among the leading suppliers of natural gas, holding just under half of the world’s proven reserves. The publication said marketed production of natural gas increased to 420.1bn cu m from 411.6 the previous year. Flaring was down 5.4 per cent from 41.2m cu m to 39.0m cu m, demonstrating a concerted effort to prevent the waste of this precious energy resource.

For the past 37 years, the ASB has served as a valuable and reliable source for statistical data on the oil and gas industries of the eleven OPEC Member Countries, as well as the industry as a whole.

The OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin, is available in print version for $85, which includes a CD-ROM with information dating back to 1960. An abridged electronic version, with information dating from 1982, is available free for downloading from the OPEC web site at http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/publications/202.htm.

Annual Statistical Bulletin 2002

Annual Statistical Bulletin 2002

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