Opec to decide on crude output at March meeting

ALL OPTIONS are open at the next meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in March, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil said yesterday.

Energy ministers from OPEC meet in Vienna on 17 March to decide whether to change production levels.

Asked if Opec would consider new cuts in output or tightening compliance with previous cuts at the meeting, Khelil said: “I think all options are open.”

In late 2008, Opec cut supply by 4.2 million barrels per day, or about five per cent of world demand, in response to lower demand and prices caused by the global economic downturn.

Since then oil prices have recovered to reach about $75 (£48) a barrel at the end of last week, but several oil producing countries have said the economic recovery is too fragile to start increasing production again.