OPEC to consider output boost, not all in favour

By Amena Bakr and Alex Lawler

VIENNA/LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) – OPEC will consider raising the group’s oil output target at its June 8 meeting due to forecasts for rising oil demand in the second half of the year, a Gulf OPEC delegate said on Friday.

But two other OPEC delegates, including one from another Gulf OPEC member, said they saw no need for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase its output ceiling for the first time since 2007.

“There will be a consideration to raise output given that in the second half of the year demand will be higher, but this is just a consideration, not something certain,” the first Gulf delegate said.

OPEC oil ministers meet on June 8 in Vienna to decide output policy. The two other delegates, including one from another Gulf OPEC member, said an increase in the group’s target was not needed.

“I expect that the quota will be unchanged as it was at the last meeting. There is no shortage of crude in the market,” said one of the delegates.

Another delegate thought the prospect of a formal change in OPEC policy unlikely because several member countries will be represented by new heads of delegation.

The delegates were speaking after a meeting on Friday of OPEC’s Economic Commission Board at the group’s Vienna headquarters, a panel which looks at data on the oil market but does not decide OPEC policy.

Libya’s representative at the ECB talks was the Gaddafi government-appointed Libyan national representative to OPEC, Mahmud Sadeg, a person familiar with the matter said. It is not yet clear who will head Libya’s delegation at next week’s meeting after state oil company chief Shokri Ghanem defected.

Two Gulf delegates said on Thursday OPEC might raise its supply target by as much as 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) when ministers meet on June 8. (Editing by Jane Baird)