Monday, September 10, 2007

Opec ignores global pleas

by Veronique Dupont from AFP

Oil producers' cartel Opec is expected to keep its output unchanged at its meeting next week, ignoring pleas from rich countries for more supplies as crude prices approach $80 per barrel ... But the Saudi Arabia-led club is seen as facing a dilemma: it seeks high oil prices to maximise its income, but it wants to avoid a global economic slowdown caused by expensive crude. "They (Opec members) are worried that if they increase production, prices will collapse," explained Leo Drollas, chief economist for the Britain-based Centre for Global Energy Studies. Opec, which expanded to 12 countries in January when African producer Angola joined, produces about a third of global crude supplies, a total of 30.5 million barrels per day.

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