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OPEC raises oil output and predicts higher demand


OPEC raises oil output and predicts higher demand


OPEC said it raised oil output in January to the highest level in two years.

In a monthly report, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said January production rose by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 29.72 million bpd, the highest since December 2008 when the group announced a record cut in its output.

It is the latest sign that a recovering world economy and Brent crude at $100 a barrel are encouraging extra supplies from the producer group.

OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have also revised upwards their estimates of global demand for oil for this year. The IEA said oil demand could hit a record 90 million barrels a day by the fourth quarter of 2011.

It added that OPEC’s recent production increase together with comfortable oil stocks should limit further price spikes.

Analysts said the price of Brent crude is likely to remain higher compared with the US benchmark oil WTI because of tighter European supplies.

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