Crude Oil down as All Eyes Look to OPEC Meeting

Prices of crude oil were down marginally Thursday as the full attention of the market is focused on next week’s meeting of OPEC, the oil cartel, to see if the falling prices will be halted by the group.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on November 27. Investors are looking for guidance on whether production of oil will be lowered in order to push the prices back up that have fallen over 30% since the beginning of June.

No meeting of OPEC for quite some time has been looked at with such anticipation, speculation and conspiracy theories as has the gathering next week in Vienna, said energy analysts online Thursday morning.

In the center of intrigue is the question of why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not yet stepped in to support the falling prices of oil and whether it or any of the OPEC partners will do it in the upcoming months.

Depending up which survey is read, OPEC produced from 30.25 million to 31 million barrels per day during October, said industry analysts. However, OPEC and the International Energy Agency estimate the need for oil out of that group is just 29.3 million barrels daily.

Therefore, said analysts, a small adjustment would not be sufficient enough to stop the slumping in the price of oil.

OPEC will likely feel forced to at some later date to agree to a much more drastic cut in production that will better reflect the lower demand for its crude oil.

Brent crude due for delivery in January was lower by 18 cents on futures in Europe to $77.92. WTI for delivery in December was off by 16 cents to just $74.41 in New York.

ICE gasoil for delivery in December changed hands for $690.51 per metric ton, which was down by $7.00. January delivery gasoline was off by 156 points and was offered per gallon at the price of $2.0006.

No big change is projected in oil prices until OPEC meets in Vienna next Thursday.

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