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Page added on November 28, 2008

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OPEC may defer third output cut, ministers say

CAIRO (Reuters) – OPEC ministers on Friday said they were likely to defer a decision on fresh output cuts until next month, despite an accelerating slump in fuel demand that has slashed the price of oil by two-thirds since July.

Caught off guard by a severe decline in energy consumption in the West, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is wary of being seen to panic after two previous rounds of cuts since September failed to shore up prices.

Ministers arriving for Saturday’s meeting said they were likely to delay another reduction until they meet in Algeria in December, when they can better judge if all members have met previous commitments.

“It’s a consultative meeting. We will prepare some more information and make a final decision maybe in Algeria,” said Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari.

Only Venezuela and Iraq of the 12-member group are holding out for more aggressive restraints now.


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