OPEC does not feel any pressure or see any emergency right now due to a stable crude market and no relationship between high pump prices and crude oil supply. OPEC’s secretary, General Abdullah al-Badri, claims that there is no shortage of crude oil, and that high fuel prices in the US are due to the declining US dollar, limited refining capacity, and politics. Since OPEC decides on its own output rate, it only has to consider its own interests.
If producing more does not mean more sales, why would OPEC want to increase production? Can the US reduce its oil consumption enough to lower prices via lowering demand? I think that our problem is not oil at ~$100 a barrel; I think that our problem is the fact that we are still so dependent upon oil. And, with as much finger pointing as the public and government do at the oil companies, the bottom line is that they are simply fulfilling the US demand for oil and, most certainly, they are not responsible for all of the blame. We must admit, own, and vow to solve our energy problem, and stop blaming big oil.
Reuters. “Market supplied with enough oil, OPEC official says”. Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Zahra Hosseinian; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Sami Aboudi. April 5, 2008.