The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has pledged to make as much as 6 million barrels per day of surplus crude production capacity available in the event of a strong rise in demand or sudden disruption in supply, a Platts release said on Tuesday.

However, the producers' cartel underlined that the surge in crude prices can't be explained by oil market fundamentals. While the view that OPEC production quotas are a reason for the consistent spurt in prices is prevalent, the oil cartel has refused to buy this theory, insisting that a combination of high inventories and ample surplus capacity ensured an adequate cushion of supply” to meet market needs.

The cartel even said in its latest monthly oil market report that oil demand in the first half of the year will be lower than current production levels. ... a closer look shows that demand for OPEC crude in the first half of the year will be lower than current OPEC production...which would result in a growing stock cushion.”

OPEC’s latest estimates of its own production, derived from secondary sources, show production from the 11 members bound by quotas at 26.776 million b/d, well above their 24.845 million b/d target, Platts said.