OPEC May Boost Oil Output to Ease Prices

Cartel may meet early and backpedal on current policy
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 7:39 PM CDT
OPEC May Boost Oil Output to Ease Prices
Traders work on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Friday, May 9, 2008. Oil rose above $126 a barrel for the first time Friday.   (AP Photo/David Karp)

As crude hit $125 a barrel today, one OPEC member said the cartel may boost oil production to relieve prices, the New York Times reports. The move would conflict with OPEC's public stand that speculators, not oil supplies, have been keeping prices high. “We would consider among other options the possibility of increasing output as a way to ensure market stability,” Libya's top oil official said.

“I expect a meeting before" one scheduled for September, he said. "I am not calling for one, but I would support one.” Another OPEC delegate pressed for a production increase of 500,000 barrels a day. Why the boost? OPEC has been "playing with fire," one analyst said: “Every time the price goes up, and we break a new psychological mark, they risk killing the goose that lays the golden egg." (More OPEC stories.)

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