OPEC: OIL PRICES $40/BBL
OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut crude output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting, the United Arab Emirates' energy minister said.
OPEC won't immediately change its Nov. 27 decision to keep the group's collective output target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day, Suhail Al-Mazrouei said. Venezuela supports an OPEC meeting given the price slide, though the country hasn't officially requested one, an official at Venezuela's foreign ministry said Dec. 12. OPEC is due to meet again on June 5.
"We are not going to change our minds because the prices went to $60 or to $40," Mazrouei told Bloomberg at a conference in Dubai. "We're not targeting a price; the market will stabilize itself." Mazrouei said current conditions didn't justify an extraordinary OPEC meeting. "We need to wait for at least a quarter" to consider an urgent session, he said.
The U.A.E. hasn't been informed of any plan for an emergency meeting, Al-Mazrouei said. OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said, "we don't know," when asked at the same conference about the possibility of such a meeting.
Brent crude, a pricing benchmark for more than half of the world's oil, slumped 2.9 percent to $61.85 a barrel in London on Dec. 12, for the lowest close since July 2009. Brent has tumbled 20 percent since Nov. 26, the day before OPEC decided to maintain production. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 3.6 percent to $57.81 in New York, the least since May 2009.
The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.56 million barrels a day in November, exceeding their collective target for a sixth straight month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait this month deepened discounts on shipments to Asia, feeding speculation that they're fighting for market share amid a global supply glut.
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