The recent weeks have seen oil prices rise by almost 52% than a year ago, triggered by a colder winter in USA, the declining value of the U.S. dollar and fears of restrictions on supplies from OPEC as the winter wanes. Crude oil futures prices hold steady at US$53 a barrel, despite assurances from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that the market is "well supplied." Light, sweet crude for April delivery fell to US$53.10 a barrel and Brent crude futures fell to US$51.01 on the International Petroleum Exchange.
OPEC producers have expressed concerns about the recent spike in prices despite the fact that the market is well-supplied and rising global crude oil stocks, now standing above their five-year average. OPEC is constantly monitoring the market and the situation would be i=under review at the OPEC meets in Isfahan, Iran on March 16.
Will the Isfahan meeting yield a cut in production or will the group's current output ceiling remain unchanged