OPEC Shocks Market, Leaves Production Flat

Investors had been expecting a rise
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2011 9:25 AM CDT
A gas flame burns behind oil field workers Monday, May 30, 2011, in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
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(Newser) – Crude prices are headed north this morning, after OPEC surprised the market by keeping production flat instead of ramping it up, the Wall Street Journal reports. Nymex crude is currently up almost 2%, above $100 a barrel, after being down ahead of the announcement. OPEC's secretary-general told reporters that the countries were "unable to reach consensus to raise production," according to the AP.

Going into the meeting, Saudi Arabia had led a group of nations that favored increasing production, while Iran and Venezuela had stood steadfastly against it. Afterward, the Saudi oil minister told Bloomberg TV it was one of the worst OPEC meetings he'd ever attended. Iran's oil minister said his nation might seek an "extraordinary" meeting.

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