Crude oil prices slightly lower on OPEC announcement
Oil prices were slightly lower at mid-afternoon in New York on Thursday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced in Vienna that it will leave production levels as they are for the time being. The cartel did say, however, that it plans to make sure that 700,000 barrels per day of production cuts that have already been announced but not yet implemented by member nations are actually taken out of production. The already-announced cuts will be pursued even though OPEC’s secretary general said that the market is currently stable and healthy and Libya’s head of oil policy called the current market “balanced”.
Despite the threat that more oil supply will be taken off-line in the implementation of previous cuts, Brent crude for April delivery dropped 38 cents to $60.68 per barrel in London, while West Texas Intermediate crude April contracts fell 9 cents to $58.07 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent April contracts expire at the close of Thursday’s session. Gasoline, heating oil, and natural gas futures were also all lower. Nymex gasoline was 3.67 cents lower to $1.8916 per gallon, while heating oil fell 1.2 cents to $1.697 per gallon. Heating oil dropped 11.8 cents to $6.967 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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