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The Controversy That Nearly Destroyed OPEC Has Resurfaced

Kazakhstan reawakened a divisive issue among the OPEC+ group with regard to oil production quotas. Kazakhstan said on Tuesday that it felt it should be allowed to increase its crude oil production in 2025, Interfax reported, despite its membership in the group that seeks to maintain balance in the global crude oil markets.

Kazakhstan’s energy ministry said it had not requested an increase to its allowable production levels for 2025.

Kazakhstan, as a member of the OPEC+ group, stated its desire to pump more oil ahead of the OPEC+ meeting to be held on June 1, and ahead of the review of members’ production capacity, which is due by the end of June and which will be used as a baseline for any subsequent production cuts in 2025. Anonymous OPEC+ sources have confirmed that the subject of these baseline figures will not be discussed in the June 1 meeting because all members won’t be ready for that discussion until later.

The group’s baseline figures, which are used to divvy up production cuts to its membership, have been the subject of debate in recent years, even threatening the very existence of the oil group.

Last summer, the UAE said it would not join in OPEC’s voluntary production cuts and has argued for years that its baseline was “unfair” and that it should be allowed to pump more as it lifts its production capacity. Rumors circulated that the UAE—OPEC’s third-largest producer— might leave the group if baselines weren’t adjusted upwards—a move that could strip away OPEC’s clout. 

In June 2023, OPEC+ revised the UAE’s quota up to 3.219 million bpd for 2024.

The UAE’s state-run oil company, Adnoc, revised its maximum crude oil production capacity figure on its website earlier this month in the runup to the June 1 meeting to 4.85 million bpd, and has made public its plans to increase its production capacity to 5 million bpd by 2027.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 15 2024 said:
    OPEC+ always manages to sort out its domestic problems without foreign interference.

    However, members of The organization have no alternative but to play by the rules otherwise they should leave.

    Last year Angola decided to leave OPEC+ over its production quota but was replaced in January 2024 with a far more important a producer like Brazil.

    OPEC+ isn’t shot of members wanting to join it because of the influence and power it endows its members as the most important player in the global oil market.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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