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OPEC Says Production To Remain Steady; Gas Prices Too?


'Oil Barrels, 2008' (detail) by Chris Jordan

'Oil Barrels, 2008' (detail) by Chris Jordan

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There’s bad news this morning for drivers awaiting cheaper gas: the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has reached a decision to maintain current output levels, not increase them as had been hoped.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbors had pushed for increased output, largely to calm fears that crude was overpriced for market conditions and worsening world economies. Iran, the second largest producer within OPEC, opposed the increase in output and prevented a consensus on additional production. 

Fears over deteriorating conditions in Libya and Yemen have created concerns about supply disruptions and potential oil shortages. Struggling world economies make the current oil price of $100 per barrel unsustainable over time, and many believed that OPEC would raise production at today’s meeting to lower prices and calm market tensions.

Iran’s blocking move gives some credence to the theory that oil dependence is becoming a matter of national security. With U.S. ally Saudi Arabia clearly no longer in the OPEC driver’s seat, this morning’s meeting doesn’t bode well for either a decrease in retail gasoline prices or for the country’s stalled economic recovery. With no additional oil production coming from OPEC, the best that motorists can hope for in the short term is that gas prices will remain flat.


[USA Today]

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  1. Energy dependence has been a matter of national security for 40 years now, but the democrats and republicans have both buried their collective heads in the sand about it all this time. The only reason Iran opposed the production increase was because they know its an easy way to stick it to the western world. They know if they can weaken western society they will be in the driver's seat for the rest of this century. America needs to wake up and decide whether driving a 6000lb Suburban to work every day is worth this kind of heartache. If we truly want energy independence, we should devote the resources and the will to get it done. Then we can get out of the middle east and let those fools blow each other up, instead of blowing us up.
     
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