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Oil prices expected to slide further as OPEC maintains output

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Oil2OPEC failed to reach a new decision on oil output at its 168th meeting in Vienna on December 4, 2015, deciding instead to maintain current production levels, according to reports by Reuters.

A statement issued by OPEC simply said member countries agreed that they “should continue to closely monitor developments in the coming months.”

Amidst falling oil prices, a lowering of the output ceiling to prop up price was half expected by some analysts but OPEC decided otherwise, opting instead to keep its market share.

The decision means crude prices could slump further in the near future from supply, especially after Iran’s decision to inevitably raise output when western sanctions placed on it over its nuclear programme, are removed next year.

Prior to OPEC’s meeting, Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zangeneh was reported to have said that negotiations with Iran not to increase its output were out of the question.

Already Reuters reports that shares of some US oil and oil service companies fell, as oil prices fell by nearly two per cent on Friday December 4, after OPEC’s decision.

According to OPEC, the conference chaired by its President Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s petroleum minister, noted a projected contraction of non-OPEC oil supply in 2016 and an expansion in global demand by 1.3 million barrels per day.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also approved Indonesia’s resumption of full membership in the organization, following a request in September 2015 by the country.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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