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DATE News (chronologically)
03/16/09
automotive
OPEC to maintain production of crude  OPEC tried on Sunday to nudge oil prices up by urging its members to stop overproducing, but the cartel decided not to cut output levels, which could have driven prices sharply higher.

Explaining the decision, OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla el-Badri spoke of his organization's concern over "ugly" global economic times that overrode the desire to achieve a quick fix by setting a lower overall output for the 12-nation producer's club.

"We see people who are out of work, we see people in tents in the most rich countries," he told reporters. While OPEC's goal remains higher prices for its product, "the time is not right" for more radical measures, he said.

The decision was sure to be welcomed by the U.S. and other major oil consuming countries, because setting lower output limits could have jolted the already anemic world economy through a sudden price increase.

It also reflected realization with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that any action more drastic than calling for quota compliance at a time of global economic crisis could ultimately backfire in real terms, by further depressing demand and driving down prices.

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