05 Jun '11, 4am

Opec set to roll over output amid weak economy, Libya unrest

LONDON - THE OPEC oil cartel meets in Vienna this week, widely expected to hold production levels unchanged as it balances a weak economic outlook and popular unrest in the Middle East which has slashed Libyan output. The 12-nation group, which pumps 40 per cent of the world's oil, meets on Wednesday amid growing fears that high crude prices could further dent faltering world economic growth and energy demand. The International Energy Agency has already called on OPEC to increase output and prevent another damaging spike in prices, with seasonal demand set to strengthen in the coming summer months in the northern hemisphere. So far this year, Brent oil prices have soared by about 21 percent, largely as a result of spreading unrest in the crude-producing Middle East and North Africa region - and particularly in Opec member Libya. At the same time, recent downbeat global eco...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Money/Story/STIS...

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