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OPEC agrees to hold oil output steady

At its meeting Dec. 14 in Vienna, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to maintain its current oil production level of 30 million b/d, including production from Libya, “now and in the future.”

In a press release, OPEC members noted that downside risks facing the global economy continue to include the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, persistently high unemployment in advanced economies, and inflation risk in the emerging economies. Planned austerity measures, not only in Europe but also in other advanced economies, are likely to contribute to lower economic growth in 2012, OPEC said.

And although worldwide oil demand is forecast to increase slightly next year, this rise is expected to be partially offset by a projected increase in non-OPEC supply, the organization noted.

OPEC’s next ordinary meeting is scheduled for June 14, 2012.

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