"OPEC Opts to Increase Its Level of Output"

"The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Wednesday to increase its production target for the first time in three years, a move that appeared to signal that Saudi Arabia and Iran had put aside their recent differences on oil policy, at least temporarily.

The move should have little lasting effect on oil prices because the production target of 30 million barrels is closely in line with the current output by the organization, and targets were not set for individual countries. But the agreement had symbolic value coming six months after a meeting of OPEC ministers ended in disarray when they failed to reach a consensus to lift production.

'We have an agreement to maintain the market in balance,' said Rafael Ramirez, the energy minister of Venezuela, which had aligned with Iran at the last meeting to oppose a move advocated by Saudi Arabia to raise production targets to help the ailing global economy. "

Clifford Krauss reports for the New York Times December 14, 2011.


"Oil Rises To Near $96 in Asia After Plunging Previous Session Amid Europe Debt Fears" (AP)

Source: NY Times, 12/15/2011