OPEC is considering plans to roll over the existing quota agreement at its next ministerial meeting, which begins in Bali on 21 November. OPEC president Abdullah al-Badri of Libya says it is too early to decide policy on future quotas, but he was touring the Gulf states to seek opinions. His tour in the last week of September included Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Al-Badri told Reuters in Bahrain on 27 September that it was still premature to say whether the roll over of the current 24.52 million barrels a day (b/d) was the preferred option. ‘There is still one to one and a half months to go,’ he said.

Tehran radio said on 26 September that a continuation of the current quota to the end of March 1995 is likely. The Iranian state-controlled station also said that prices could rise to $21 a barrel because of rising demand. In Kuwait, Oil Minister Abdel-Mohsen al-Mudej was quoted by the local Arabic daily Al-Anba as favouring a continuation of the existing quota.

In Qatar, the OPEC president said that a good target price for the OPEC basket of crude oil was $18-20 a barrel. The average price of the OPEC basket to mid-September was $15.24 a barrel, compared with an average of $16.33 a barrel for 1993. Preliminary data for the third week of September show the OPEC basket at $15.57 a barrel.

Current oil price trends are firm. In London, Brent crude oil futures for November delivery rose to $16.49 a barrel on 28 September. Analysts attributed the firmer price trend to OPEC’s current quota discipline and expectations of rising winter fuel demand.