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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Lying Headlines

Current headline on the NY Times web site: OPEC Increases Oil Output by 500,000 Barrels a Day

The Times immediately points out that its own headline is a lie in the first two paragraphs of the article:
OPEC said today that it had agreed to lift its oil production quotas by 500,000 barrels a day in a move reflecting the organization's unease with soaring worldwide energy demand.

The increase, which officially puts the output quotas of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at 28 million barrels a day, was considered mostly symbolic since its 11 member nations are already producing about that amount of oil each day in a rush to cash in on high prices.
I saw an article a day or two ago which said that OPEC is currently producing about 30 million barrels a day, probably just about the maximum that they are capable of producing. Raising the quotas from 27.5 million to 28 million therefore basically means nothing. The spot markets know this--Nymex crude is up $1.13 a barrel today to $56.13.

Don't believe headlines!

[Update, 5 pm: I see that the NY Times has now corrected the headline: "OPEC Increases Oil Output Quotas by 500,000 Barrels a Day"]