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11

OPEC Oil Prices Decreased

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries's weekly average crude oil prices dropped $1.82

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries's weekly average crude oil prices dropped $1.82 to $48.45 per barrel last week, the cartel's secretariat said on Monday.

Falling oil prices since the start of 2007 have attracted OPEC's attention, but without any action from the cartel, the price kept falling last week, especially in the first three trading days.

Algeria's Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil told state radio last week that the main reason for OPEC did not hold the urgent meeting immediately was the opposition from the Saudi Arabia, which contributes the largest portion of the reduction.

Sudden cold weather in United States saw the oil price rebound on Thursday last week, but some market analysts said the bad weather appeared to have come too late and it was not enough to support prices.

In its monthly report last Friday, OPEC revised downward its estimate of the growth in the world oil demand this year to 1.5 percent, 0.1 percent lower than the previous forecast last month. And the daily basket price declined slightly on Friday.

After slashing its combined output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Nov. 1 last year, OPEC decided to cut its output by a further 500,000 barrels bpd from Feb 1. However, according to some new global energy reports, the actual OPEC output cuts were around only half the promised amounts.