The OPEC oil cartel looks set to keep its output quotas unchanged for the moment. Consumer countries want the OPEC members, meeting in Vienna, to increase output by half a million barrel a day, to help keep prices down. OPEC’s President, Kuwait’s oil minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Faud al-Sabah, said they would however release up to an extra two million barrels a day, if it is needed.He explained:“We are trying hard to come up with a positive formulation to stabilise and reassure markets on the continuity of supplies of crude oil, and we are working to calm prices, which have stated to negatively affect world economic growth, albeit to a small extent, as well as affecting the devlopment plans of developing countries.” OPEC, which is already actually producing well above its official quota, is also aware that demand for oil is starting to fall because of the high prices. So a production hike now could be badly timed. EU Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, shares OPEC’s worries about the economic effects of high oil costs. He told reporters: “They are definately having some influence. In the bigger EU member states, they are slowing down growth.” Opec wants to be seen to be taking the west’s concerns over the cost of oil seriously. But it is not clear how much effect extra output would have as OPEC insists, and analysts agree, that insufficient refining capacity is a major factor in the high prices.