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OPEC decides on output cuts


OPEC decides on output cuts


With demand sliding and stockpiles rising, members of the oil producers cartel OPEC are meeting this weekend to decide whether to pump less.

The consensus among industry analysts is that they will leave output unchanged. That is because oil prices have held steady recently and if they were to rise more that could slowdown any global economic recovery. Just before the meeting in Vienna OPEC and the International Energy Agency revised downward their forecasts for global demand. Energy use has fallen for the first time in a generation because of lower economic output. OPEC calculates global demand will fall to 86.1 million barrels per day. Its current output is 25.7 million barrels per day. Prices for US light crude have picked up to around 47 dollars a barrel from December’s lows of near 32 dollars. Instead of further cuts, experts said OPEC is likely to decide to do more to implement full compliance by members with previous output reductions. The International Energy Agency said doing that should tighten supplies within months. OPEC has said it cannot let prices fall too low as they need to be high enough to support investment in finding more crude for the future.

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