September 9, 2008

OPEC Signals Output Levels Will Remain

Oil ministers from major export countries enter a meeting in Vienna with diverse opinions on oil supplies and prices, various ministers said.

The late-night meeting Tuesday brings together oil ministers from Iran and Venezuela, who want to see production slowed to support prices, The New York Times reported.

But the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Country's leading exporter, Saudi Arabia, increased its production by 600,000 barrels a day above its OPEC quota this summer to help bring prices down.

Crude oil prices have fallen from a high above $147 in July to a current price around $105 per barrel. Slowing demand has played a part in price reductions. But Saudi Arabia takes part of the credit.

"We have worked very hard since June to bring prices to where they are now. We have been very successful," said Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.

OPEC's president, Chakib Khelil, who is also Algeria's oil minister, said the market had reached a "re-equilibrium."

"We are producing at a certain level. We will probably stay at that level," he said.