The Oil Drum: New York City

Helping New Yorkers understand, prepare and adapt to the implications of Peak Oil

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Is OPEC Irrelevant?

As the price of oil continues to surge up and up to over $64/barrel, I caught a whiff of Phase I of the Peak Oil future from the NY Times review of the oil market:

OPEC has increased its supplies to 30.4 million barrels a day, raising output by 300,000 barrels a day over the last two weeks, in a bid to cool prices, according to the organization's president, Sheik Ahmad Fahad al-Sabah. But analysts dismiss OPEC's power to influence markets. With little production left untapped outside of Saudi Arabia, there is nothing the cartel can do to rein in prices. "OPEC? They are irrelevant," said Lawrence J. Goldstein, the president of the PIRA Energy Group, an oil consultancy in New York. "It's only when you hold off supplies than you become influential." He added, "Today, all the events are leaning in the same direction: Up."

So they realize that everyone, including OPEC, is producing flat out and they don't think we have hit a peak? The next question is: what if OPEC decided to hold back production? Answer: Economic chaos.

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