OPEC ministers said today they expect to wait until the cartel’s July 3 emergency meeting to consider raising supply to fill the gap left by the recent Iraqi outage and to meet rising oil demand ahead of the winter season.
The ministers agreed to keep their oil production unchanged despite Iraq's decision to stop its oil sales. The agreement leaves official limits for 10 members of the oil cartel at 24.2-million barrels daily.
Iraq on Monday halted exports under the United Nations program in protest of a U.N. proposal to overhaul Gulf War sanctions and crack down on oil smuggled out by Baghdad. Iraq's stoppage represents two-million barrels daily.
Although Iraq belongs to OPEC, it doesn't participate in production agreements with the group's other 10 members.
OPEC has an official output target of 24.2 million barrels a day, and its members pump about two-fifths of the world's crude.
Saudi Arabia is OPEC's No. 1 producer and the only cartel member able to quickly make up for the loss of Iraq's oil. Most of the other members are pumping at or near their limits.