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OPEC to Raise Crude Oil Output

The global oil cartel, OPEC, Tuesday agreed in Vienna to boost production by 500,000 barrels per day. VOA's Barry Wood has more.

The 12 OPEC nations say the production increase goes into effect November first. The new production target will be 27 point two million barrels a day. The move to boost production was led by Saudi Arabia, the biggest OPEC producer. Forty two percent of the world's oil is produced by OPEC nations. Mohammed Abdullah al-Aleem, Kuwait's acting oil minister, tells Bloomberg News the reasons for the production boost. "OPEC's concern is that we thought the market was a little bit tight-it's not too tight really-but it is the responsibility of OPEC to look after the concern of consumers," he said.

Oil prices initially fell slightly on the news but then recovered to close up nearly 75 cents per barrel in New York. Oil is trading at over $78 a barrel, only a few cents below its all time high touched in August of 2006.

Oil producers have been concerned that high gasoline prices could drive the global economy into recession. But those fears have been ameliorated over the past year as high prices seemed to have little impact on a still robustly expanding world economy.