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OPEC: No Production Cuts

  • Jim Randle

Saudi Arabia Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Naimi speaks to journalists before a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Dec. 4, 2015.

Saudi Arabia Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Naimi speaks to journalists before a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Dec. 4, 2015.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut oil production at a contentious meeting in Vienna on Friday.

The decision comes at a time when a surplus of oil on global markets has driven prices down from $100 a barrel to around $40 a barrel in the last year-and-a-half.

The OPEC cartel pumps about one third of the world's oil and in the past, has used coordinated production limits to cut the supply and bolster the price of crude oil.

The oil ministers were unable to reach an agreement this time. The current oversupply seems likely to increase as Iran comes out from under international sanctions that have limited its oil exports.

Also Friday, Indonesia re-joined the cartel, bringing the membership to 13 nations.

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