OPEC Holds Oil Production Steady

As expected, consortium rebuffs US call to boost supply
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 1:00 PM CST
President of the OPEC conference and Minister of Energy and Mines Chakib Khelil from Algeria speaks at a news conference after a meeting of ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – OPEC dashed American hopes for a boost in oil production today, Bloomberg reports. The US and other Western nations wanted more oil on the market to lower prices, but OPEC decided to hold production steady. The consortium, which supplies 40% of the world's oil, is worried that the flagging world economy will reduce demand.

Demand for oil tends to fall in the second quarter, and a glum economy might drive it down even more, the Wall Street Journal notes. Iran is leading the charge to make a corresponding cut in supply, but doing so would imply that OPEC is defending the current historically high price levels. OPEC’s president said a drop was unlikely “because psychologically it's not possible.”