OPEC expected to keep oil output steady at upcoming meeting

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to keep oil production levels steady at the upcoming meeting later this week.

While OPEC raised its forecast for demand growth this year based on an improving economy due to stimulus spending, the group kept its numbers the same for 2011.

The price of oil has been hovering around the $80 mark, boosted from its range in the mid-$70s by an improving economy, a weakened US dollar and Chinese manufacturing data, among other economic factors.

With the first meeting in seven months scheduled for Oct. 14, 2010, to discuss production levels, OPEC has kept production numbers steady for some time now. By not producing at full levels, OPEC maintains the amount of oil in the market, which has helped to keep the price of oil in its current range.

In its 50th year, OPEC is an oil-exporting cartel that unites petroleum policies in its 12 member countries. Members of OPEC include Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela.

The price of the OPEC daily basket for Oct. 11 sat at $80.44 a barrel, which was an increase from the previous week.

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