The 166th meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference has begun in Vienna Thursday to discuss current oil price trends and provide an outlook for 2015.
In an opening address the President of the Conference Abdourhman Ataher Al-Ahirish said "ample supply, moderate demand, a stronger U.S. dollar and uncertainties about global economic growth" along with speculative activities have been the key factors in a trend in recent months of falling oil prices of almost 30 percent.
An improvement in the situation is however expected for 2015 as the organization expects the global economic recovery to continue, anticipating world oil demand will grow by 1.1 million barrels per day to 92.3 million barrels.
Al-Ahirish said however that if the more recent price trends were to continue, it could put expansion plans and investment projects at risk. He added the attendees of the conference will focus their discussions toward maintaining stability in the oil market.
Some analysts said that OPEC needs to cut at least 3 percent production, or roughly one million barrels, to stop the retreat of oil prices. If the organization keeps production steady or reduces only a small amount, crude prices could fall further, they said.
However, analyst Cornelia Meyer of MRL told Xinhua that the conference "will not cut or cut very little because the majority of the countries have said they don't see the need to cut and there is no need to panic".
Crude prices dropped on Wednesday, one day before OPEC members meet in Vienna to discuss responses to a supply glut that has dragged down oil prices by a third since June.
Till now, some members of the organization have signaled that the group is unlikely to make a production cut.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said on Wednesday in Vienna that he expected the oil market to stabilize itself eventually, further boosting expectation that Saudi Arabia, the group's top producer and exporter, would not support a production cut at the upcoming meeting.
United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said Wednesday: "I am confident that we will take the right decision to stabilize the market. The market is getting bigger. OPEC is not targeting a certain price."
U.S. crude stockpiles added 1.9 million barrels to 383 million barrels last week, according to a report released by Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude, gained 1.4 million barrels to 24.6 million.
Light, sweet crude for January delivery moved down 40 cents to settle at 73.69 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery lost 58 cents to close at 77.75 dollars a barrel.