The 12-nation oil carte- OPEC is to meet in Vienna this week, and is widely expected to keep production levels unchanged as it balances a weak economic outlook and lower output in Libya caused by unrest. OPEC meets amid growing fears that high crude prices could further dent faltering world economic growth and energy demand.
Experts have called on OPEC to increase output and prevent another damaging spike in prices, with seasonal demand set to strengthen in the coming summer months in the northern hemisphere. OPEC’s production target at 24.84 mln bpd has been unchanged since early 2009. The IEA estimates OPEC output stood at 26.15 mln bpd in April 2011.