OPEC crude price slips after decision to maintain output
(dpa) - OPEC crude prices slipped after oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to maintain current output levels, the OPEC Secretariat said on Thursday.
One barrel (159 litres) of crude from OPEC's 12-brand reference basket stood at 95.95 dollars on Wednesday, down 34 cents from the previous day, the secretariat said.
At its 148th meeting, OPEC decided to keep current production quotas steady, thereby ignoring calls by US President George W Bush, who urged OPEC to increase output.
The decision was expected by analysts. An increase was never really on the cards, with the traditionally low-demand second quarter approaching and markets being oversupplied, Vienna-based analysts JCB said.
OPEC's restraint on cutting supplies however gave the cartel a powerful tool in the coming weeks in case of a price slide, JCB said.