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September 2, 2008

OPEC discussing minimum price of oil to be $100


Hurricane Gustav scarcely damaged the oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, causing oil prices today to fall below $108 for the first time in months.

Oil prices have been going down recently due to less demand in the United States as Americans buy more hybrids and/or smaller cars. Oil demand in the United States dropped by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2008, the steepest volume drop in 26 years.

Iran has said $100 is the lowest acceptable oil price and called for OPEC to cut output by 1.5 million bpd by early next year. Venezuela and several other countries agreed. Other OPEC sources have suggested a price floor closer to $80 a barrel because of concerns about the effects of high fuel costs on large consumer economies such as the United States, which is currently in a recession.

OPEC has apparently gotten used to the new high prices and wants them to stay above $100. Back in June OPEC was predicting oil prices to reach $170.

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