OPEC shrugs at status quo amid uncertainty

Even with the threat of war looming between the US and Iraq, rising oil demand, and dwindling crude inventories, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pretty much just shrugged at its Sept. 19 meeting in Osaka.While there had been some impetus for boosting quotas to "legitimize" the group's current overproduction—pegged at 1.9-2.0 million b/d—that withered in the face of too many market uncertainties in the months to come.While boosting quotas might not have done much to increase physical supplies, OPEC had to be mindful of the last time it sought to legitimize overproduction during a period of flagging economic indicators: the price bust of 1998. A quota boost...

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