OPEC Oil Price Nears Bottom of Target Band
The basket oil price used by OPEC to help set its production policy fell to 22.92 dollars on Monday, and was close to the bottom of its 22-28 dollars target band, it said.
The OPEC basket oil price, based on an average of seven crudes worldwide, has been within that band for nearly two weeks, after falling below 28 dollars on December 6 for the first time in four months.
Under an informal price-band mechanism agreed in March, the organization agreed to increase or decrease output by 500,000 dollars a day if the price stayed outside the target band -- above or below -- for more than 20 days.
Crude prices have soared to 10-year highs of over 35 dollars a barrel this year, sparking four production increases by the 11-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The recent slump in prices has prompted forecasts from some OPEC leaders that they will agree to a production cut at a ministerial meeting scheduled in Vienna on January 17.
The price-band mechanism was triggered in October, but OPEC ministers also decided at least once not to trigger the mechanism although the conditions for its implementation had been fulfilled -- VIENNA (AFP)
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