OPEC leaves crude output stable
Vienna, March 15 (DPA) The Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided Thursday to leave crude oil outputs steady.
OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al Badri said, after reviewing the market supply and demand, the conclusion that the market was stable and healthy was reached.
"We don't need to touch it this time," he said at the spring conference in Vienna of ministers from the 12 OPEC member states.
OPEC members agreed on total cuts of 1.7 million barrels a day in previous meetings in October and February.
Conference president Mohamed Bin Dahem Al Hamli said OPEC was very happy with the compliance levels in the production quotas.
Oil ministers from 12 OPEC member states discussed growing concerns over a possible downturn of the global economy, watching very closely the latest developments in the world's financial markets.
In its final communiquÃƒÂ©, the oil cartel said while all indicators clearly showed that the market remained well supplied with crude oil and that OECD commercial oil stocks were healthy, overall oil market volatility was likely to continue.
"In light of this volatility, the Conference decided to continue closely monitoring market developments to ascertain that oil market stability is achieved and that global economic growth is sustained."
In his opening address Al Hamli said OPEC sought prices that were "stable, sustainable and acceptable to producers and consumers alike."
With around $57 per barrel (159 litres), oil prices are well below their peak of $78.40 in July 2006.
On the issue of climate change, Al Hamli stressed that OPEC was as concerned as everyone else over climate issues and that the global oil industry had a very successful history of improving its environmental credentials.
"OPEC collectively and our member countries individually devote a lot of time and effort to this issue," he said.
Angola, which became the 12th OPEC member state in January, participated for the first time in conference.
The next OPEC meetings were set for Sep 11 in Vienna and Dec 5 in Abu Dhabi.