Opec to maintain output of oil levels

Opec producers have agreed to keep oil output limits on hold, content with crude prices not far off $50 a barrel, Qatar Oil Minister Abd Allah al-Attiya said.

    The organisation provides up to 30 million bpd of crude

    The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached the deal on Sunday after a short meeting in Vienna, despite worries among consumer nations about inflated fuel costs. 

    Gone are the concerns that dominated in Opec last year about the impact of rising crude prices on the world economic growth that drives demand for its oil. 

    With inflation in the big economic powers in check and low interest rates still generating above trend growth, Opec ministers see no reason for cheaper oil. 

    No slowdown

    Several in the 11-member group, including Saudi Arabia, have said they see no significant slowdown in world growth, pointing in particular to forecasts for Chinese oil demand to increase sharply again this year. 

    Al-Sabah: High prices will not 
    affect the global economy

    "We think the high price will not effect the global economy. There won't be a strong negative for the economy," said Kuwait's Opec President Shaikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah 

    Opec now appears prepared to defend oil prices at a floor of about $40 a barrel for US crude, or $35 for an index basket of cartel crudes - a $10 increase on the official target it set in 2000. 

    At Friday's US close of $47.15 a barrel, prices were too high for OPEC to justify arranging cuts now for implementation at the start of the second quarter, when seasonal demand ebbs. 

    "We have to wait until the second quarter of this year to know exactly where the price indicator will head," said Shaikh Ahmad. "But I believe that $35 is a suitable price as an average price for the Opec basket of crudes." 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.