OPEC Moves Emergency Meeting Forward to October

Dow Jones Newswires

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), October 16, 2008

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday moved forward its emergency meeting to review production policy by nearly one month, underscoring the cartel's concern about falling crude prices.

"OPEC nations are reliant on oil revenues and to the extent that prices have fallen this far, we are very concerned," Nigerian Oil Minister Odein Ajumogobia told Dow Jones Newswires by telephone from Nigeria.

OPEC, in a short statement, said the meeting will be held Oct. 24 at the group's headquarters in Vienna rather than Nov. 18, as previously scheduled.

U.S. crude prices touched a 14-month low Thursday of almost $71 a barrel on concerns that U.S. and European financial problems are severely crimping oil demand and spreading to emerging market nations like China.

The announcement comes as a number of OPEC nations, including Iraq and Nigeria, are being forced to review their 2009 budget spending plans because of the tumble in crude prices, which are down 54% since their summer peaks.

"This is part of the result of the falling oil price," Ajumogobia said, declining to elaborate. Nigeria's situation has been made worse by the fact that militants have successfully sabotaged oil pipelines and knocked out around 600,000 barrels a day of pumping capacity.

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