- The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is contemplating another trim of 2 million barrels in oil production before the next meeting in March if crude prices continue to fall, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil announced.
OPEC, the supplier of 41 percent of the world's oil, had cut more than 2 million barrels per day in December from its production to modify the fall in crude oil prices. Crude oil lost almost three quarters of its value since rising to a record $147.27.
Mr Khelil said if the oil price continues to decline, OPEC members will be left with no choice but to ration the oil production in order to stabilise the prices. "In view of a decline in world oil demand, which differs from one expert to another, it is clear that demand will fall sharply in the second quarter of 2009," the minister told national news agency, APS.
However, analysts have argued that though a cut in production might stabilise the prices, with the current global economic recession, consumers will be the hardest hit with the ration.
Although producers are acting in their own interest by reducing supply now, they claim their actions will also prevent a future supply crunch by ensuring adequate investment in new oil fields.
According to the cartel, there has been almost 100 percent compliance with two earlier OPEC supply reductions. Angola, OPEC's newest member and current chair, will lower its oil production rate to 1.7 million barrels a day next month.
The Cartel is expected to meet in Vienna in March, to review progress made by oil cuts.
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