OPEC will take one million barrels of oil a day off world markets as soon as possible to keep prices from falling, according to senior cartel officials. The news pushed the cost of crude back above 60 dollars a barrel in London and New York. Oversupply and high fuel stocks in the world’s top consumer, the US, mean oil prices had dropped by nearly a quarter since mid July.
OPEC’s daily output would fall to 28.5 million barrels. Russia currently pumps 9.7 million barrels a day and 4.6 million barrels come from the British and Norwegian fields in the North Sea. This would be OPEC’s first output cut since April 2004. Nine cartel countries will pump less, with the world’s biggest exporter Saudi Arabia making the deepest cuts. The US is unhappy at the move and plans to tell OPEC the world still needs all the oil it can pump heading into winter.