OPEC ended a hastily convened meeting in Cairo Saturday without announcing new output cuts, despite the steep drop in crude prices and the threat it poses to member governments’ national budgets.
The oil producing group’s president, Chakib Khelil, said OPEC is concerned about the weakening world economy and its impact on oil prices. The group, however, will likely wait until a meeting in Algeria on Dec. 17 to decide whether to cut additional crude supplies from the market.
Khelil said oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “agreed to take any additional action on 17th of December to balance oil supply and demand and achieve market stability.”
By TAREK EL-TABLAWY and ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press Writers
Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi is surrounded by journalists during the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) meeting in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov.29, 2008. OPEC oil ministers downplayed expectations of, but didn’t dismiss outright, an immediate output cut as they faced a third test in as many months of their ability to engineer a rebound in oil prices.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
His comments came after the group convened what it called a consultative meeting in Cairo to take stock of market situations and to asses whether members were complying with a 1.5 million barrel per day output cut announced Oct. 24 in Vienna, Austria.
Khelil said preliminary market data indicated members were complying with the earlier cuts.
Saudi Arabia’s king said in an interview published Saturday in a Kuwaiti newspaper that the price of oil should be $75 a barrel, much higher than it is now, but the conclusion of the Cairo meeting with no announcement on output indicated no measures would likely be taken until OPEC meets again next month.