OPEC may hold steady next week

Dec. 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM
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DOHA, Qatar, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The 12-member OPEC oil cartel isn't likely to press for output quotas, favoring a push for more compliance, a Libyan delegate said from Qatar.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets next week in Ecuador. The cartel hasn't raised its production quota since December 2008 when oil prices were plummeting to record lows at the onset of the worldwide economic collapse.

Shokri Ghanem, the top oil official from Libya, told delegates at a Doha conference that OPEC wasn't likely to change the quota at its Dec. 11 meeting in Ecuador, the Bloomberg news agency reports.

He said that instead, members of the cartel would call for more compliance with existing quotas set in 2008. Oil prices fell by around $100 per barrel before the 2008 quotas, though prices have recently held steady near the $80 mark.

Venezuela, however, said it considered $100 per barrel a "fair" price, a sentiment expressed by their Iranian counterparts.

Rafael Ramirez, the Venezuelan energy minister, added that major gas-producing nations needed a cartel like OPEC to "regulate" the price of natural gas.

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