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OPEC considers pumping more to calm prices


OPEC considers pumping more to calm prices


OPEC is considering raising its output target by as much as 1.5 million barrels per day to try to pull down sharply higher crude oil prices.

The producers’ cartel is due to meet in Vienna next week to discuss output amid fears that high energy costs are proving a drag on global economic growth.

Reuters quoted one delegate to the meeting as saying an increase is needed to replace the loss from Libya.

The unnamed delegate said: “Oil prices are too high. $100 oil is scaring people.”

However OPEC members Iran, Libya and Venezuela could resist any rise in targets, industry publication Energy Intelligence reported on Wednesday, citing an OPEC insider.

Libya, whose top oil official recently defected amid continued bloodshed there, would not want other OPEC members to officially divide its share of the targets, the delegate said. Civil war has cut its exports.

But another delegate suggested any change would be a waste of time saying OPEC members could simply flout official targets to meet demand.

“Why bother?” he said. “Everybody is pumping what they want anyway and getting the money they want and more.”

OPEC has kept formal supply policy unchanged since late 2008, when the group agreed record cuts to match the sharp fall in demand as the financial crisis engulfed the economy.

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