OPEC maintains current oil output in Cairo meeting

November 30th, 2008 - 6:34 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Nov 30 (Xinhua) The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said that it will maintain the current crude oil output until next month’s meeting in Algeria. OPEC’s president Chakib Khelil, who is also Algeria’s energy and mines minister, made the remarks after the consultative ministerial meeting of the group here Saturday.

The ministers agreed to take any additional action to balance supply and demand and achieve market stability, Khelil said, adding that the OPEC was concerned about the continued deterioration of the world economy and its impact on oil demand.

OPEC said oil demand would be affected significantly amid concerns of world economic recession in the first half of next year.

“In the first quarter of next year we are probably going to have a decline in demand,” Khelil said. The meeting discussed ways to shore up the oil prices, he added. The group supplies about 40 percent of the global oil output.

The meeting was held in preparation for the upcoming ministerial meeting in the western Algerian town of Oran.

In recent months, the oil prices have dropped sharply. On Friday, it stood at around $54 a barrel, declining by some 60 percent from over $147 a barrel in mid-July.

The OPEC had cut its oil output by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in October and is to discuss further cut at the upcoming ministerial meeting in Algeria. Iran has also proposed another cut in oil output by around one million bpd.

Before the meeting on Saturday, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said his country hoped to raise oil prices to $75 a barrel, but no measures would be taken until the next meeting.

Qatar Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said the current crude prices were too low to sustain investments in the oil industry and will be very difficult to boost output.

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