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OPEC urges members to end overproduction

September 10, 2008|From Bloomberg News

OPEC, whose members supply more than 40% of the world's oil, issued a statement early today urging members to adhere more strictly to production quotas.

Meeting in Vienna, ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to a total production limit for 11 members of 28.8 million barrels a day. The lower total reflects the suspension of Indonesia's membership and is 520,000 barrels a day below the group's July output, OPEC President Chakib Khelil said at a news conference.

Members, including Iran and Venezuela, had urged OPEC to take action to keep prices above $100 a barrel as slower economic growth curbs demand. Brent crude oil fell below $100 for the first time in five months Tuesday.

OPEC's quota for 12 members including Indonesia had been 29.673 million barrels a day. Indonesia had a target 865,000 barrels a day.

OPEC members increased production this year as Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer, sold more to calm prices, balance shortfalls and slake the developing world's growing thirst for crude.

Oil rose to a record $147.27 a barrel in July before falling to $103.26 on Tuesday.

"We should do what we can to keep prices at the level of around $100 a barrel," Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said. "We are concerned about the drop of demand by the end of the year."

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