OPEC Keeps Output Levels the Same

At its 146th Extraordinary Meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday, OPEC agreed to keep output levels unchanged for the time being.

Additionally, the group assigned production quotas to recently joined members Venezuela and Angola. Angola, which joined the cartel in January of this year, was assigned a 1/9 mb/d quota. Venezuela rejoined OPEC in November 2007 after a 15 year hiatus, and the country was asked to produce 520,000 b/d.

The President of the Conference HE Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli reassured the public that the group is keenly aware of the "price volatility" in the market in his opening address to the meeting on Wednesday.

"Despite considerable efforts by OPEC's Member Countries to increase spare production capacity to levels that should ensure adequate supply to the market, prices have remained near record highs," he said. "This is mainly due to increased speculation, which has detached prices from fundamentals."

The group of 13 oil-producing nations, including Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Venezuela, has scheduled another Extraordinary Meeting on February 1, 2008 in Vienna, Austria. A month later, the Ordinary Meeting will be held on March 5, 2008 in Vienna, as well.

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