OPEC to keep current output unchanged

CAIRO (Zawya Dow Jones) – Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries will keep output quotas unchanged at their 22 December meeting in Angola, but will stress greater compliance, a senior Gulf official said Sunday.

“OPEC members say output should remain the same, but they want to see more compliance from some of the members,” the official told Zawya Dow Jones.

OPEC members will meet in the Angolan capital Luanda on Tuesday to decide on production policy. The group has left output quotas unchanged this year after a series of production cuts in 2008 amid a sharp fall in oil prices and global demand dropping with the onset of the world’s longest recession since World War II.

“Everyone seems to be happy about the current prices, and they want to see it about $75 a barrel,” the official said.

Oil ended at a near two-week high Friday, with light, sweet crude for January delivery settling 71 cents, or 1 per cent, higher at $73.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“The group will be discussing the possibility of meeting next month if prices start to fall to below the $65 level,” the official said.

Oil inventories remain above their five-year average, and OPEC sees more demand in the market driven by China and India, the official said. He added that signs of economic recovery from the US and Europe remain unclear.