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PostSubject: Oil prices volatile as Opec ministers hold discussions   Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:10 am

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West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Futures $/barrel
Last Updated at 08 Mar 2011, 17:45 GMT *Chart shows local time West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Future intraday chart
price change %
105.07 -

Members of the Opec cartel of oil producing nations have been informally discussing whether to hold an emergency meeting to discuss output levels.

Kuwait's oil minister said Opec would now have to decide if there was a need to increase production.

Oil prices had earlier fallen on hopes that Opec was close to boosting output.

After recovering prices dipped again in late afternoon with US light crude down 65 cents to $104.75 a barrel, and Brent crude down $1.88 at $113.16 a barrel.
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“Start Quote

A look back at history finds plenty of occasions when large increases in the oil price have been followed by recessions”

End Quote
image of Stephanie Flanders Stephanie Flanders Economics editor, BBC News

* Stephanomics: Time to worry?

'Consensus' needed

Earlier remarks by Kuwait's oil minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, that Opec was considering raising output, seemed to have initially soothed oil markets.

But when questioned later on the subject he said that Opec secretary general Abdallah El Badri was "calling everybody to reach a consensus over whether Opec needs to hold an emergency meeting".

If there was such an emergency meeting, it would then decide on whether to increase output or not.

Earlier, Iran's Opec minister Mohammad Ali Khatibi had told the Reuters news agency that there was "no shortage in the market" and "no need for further Opec supply".

He added: "But the consumers are worried, this is psychological."

And in an interview with his national state news agency, the oil minister of Saudi Arabia, Ali Naimi, said the oil market remained well-supplied and that speculation was causing the price spikes.

Meanwhile, opposing forces - backing and rebelling against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya - are facing each other near oil terminals about 340 miles (550 km) east of Tripoli, rebels said.

The two sides have been skirmishing outside the oil town of Ras Lanuf.
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