The OPEC will succeed in keeping the prices for crude oil between 22 and 28 dollars per barrel. This conclusion is reached by the DIW in its weekly report. The OPEC's announcement to clearly cut back crude oil production as well as low stocks, particularly in the USA, have stopped a further drop-off in prices.
Particularly in North America and Asia oil consumption has increased considerably from the beginning of 1998 till the end of 2000, stagnated in Europe and decreased in the succession states of the former Soviet Union. The OPEC as well as the successive states of the former Soviet Union increased their production in order to counterbalance the world-wide increase in demand. The production rate clearly exceeded the consumption rate in 2000 so that without further OPEC reductions the production rate would again outnumber the rate of consumption. As world-wide oil resources are scarce this market situation could be used to replenish stocks. Yet, the OPEC fears that such a market development could lead to a drastic drop-off in prices. It, therefore, does not exclude a further reduction in production during the second quarter of 2001.
The DIW Berlin supports the International Energy Agency's and the American Energy Information Administration's prognosis which forecasts that without changes in the international energy policy oil consumption will rise to 10 million barrel per day during the next 10 or 20 years even if the world economy's growth rate is as low as 1.7 %. Most of the oil produced will than be consummated in North America and the Asian developing countries.