In an effort to halt declining oil
prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced it
would reduce daily oil output starting on Jan. 1. It remains to be seen whether
OPEC will succeed in bolstering oil prices because major non-OPEC producers
like Mexico, Russia and Angola have said they will not reduce exports to bolster
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
sent the global economy into a tailspin, oil demand dwindled rapidly and prices
plummeted. Prices have since stabilized at about $21 a barrel.
An OPEC spokesman said the cartel was
determined to nudge the price per barrel up to $25 a barrel by reducing output
and restraining the rampant overproduction among its members, the New York
Times reported. OPEC countries have been pumping far more than their official
quotas to take advantage of current prices, but recent data show that such
cheating has been curbed.
The spokesman did not specify how great
the reduction would be, but left no doubt one was imminent. Most industry
analysts expect OPEC, which produces about 35 percent of the world's
oil, to pare back exports by 700,000 to a million barrels per day. The group
has already pulled back production three times this year by a total of 3.5
million barrels a day, or about 13 percent.