Opec meeting hikes oil price

City A.M. Reporter
OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on Wednesday are expected to keep supply targets intact and instead rely on hoped-for economic growth to sustain oil prices.<br /><br />The oil market rose towards $69 (&pound;42) a barrel yesterday after G20 finance leaders said at a weekend meeting they would not end stimulus plans until economic recovery was well established.<br /><br />Traders predicted the extended financial support would translate into higher fuel demand.<br /><br />Opec president Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos, who is also Angola&rsquo;s oil minister, said the 12-member group has a general consensus to keep output levels steady.<br /><br />Crude prices have swung wildly in the past year, reaching $147 a barrel in July 2008 before plunging to $32 a barrel in February. Saudi Arabia, Opec&rsquo;s biggest producer, has said $75 is a fair price for consumers and producers.<br /><br />Opec has kept its official output targets steady since it announced late last year a record cut of 4.2m barrels per day from September 2008 production.<br /><br />But some member countries are likely to be reminded to keep to agreed limits. Compliance has slipped from a peak of 80 per cent to less than 70 per cent because of the rebounding oil prices.<br /><br />Opec, which supplies more than one third of the world&rsquo;s oil, is also facing the challenge of non-OPEC producers, which ignored the group&rsquo;s appeals to join in attempts to bolster the price.<br /><br />Output from the largest non-Opec exporter Russia hit a record high in August of nearly 10m barrels per day.