OPEC would be likely to lower the ceiling on its collective production if oil prices fall to $70 a barrel, a level most of the group's members don't expect to see this year, according to several of the group's officials, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"At $70 a barrel, there will be panic in OPEC. We have become used to living with $100 a barrel," said one OPEC official, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of governors and other officials from the 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
OPEC governors are senior officials from member countries involved in formulating the group's policy. They are meeting ahead of a full OPEC ministerial meeting on Nov. 27. OPEC ministers have so far failed to agree on a unified response to the roughly 25% slide in oil prices since the summer.
If oil prices were to fall to $70 a barrel it would put severe pressure on the budgets of some OPEC member countries. Venezuela, for example, would need crude to average around $117.5 a barrel next year to balance its budget, according to Deutsche Bank .
Were prices to fall to "$70 a barrel, there will be action from OPEC," according to another OPEC official. Brent crude was trading at around $83 a barrel on Thursday morning.