OPEC was awaiting a response
Monday from Russia about a proposed meeting with Russian President Vladimir
Putin to discuss the slowing global oil demand growth. The announcement comes
as oil prices continue to freefall.
The Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries is trying to gain Russia's help to shore up slowing oil
demand and avoid a price crash next year. Russia, the world's second largest
crude oil exporter, has only offered to trim production by 50,000 barrels
per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter and hold talks later this month about
further cuts after the first of the year.
OPEC agreed last month
to curb output by 1.5 million bpd in January, if non-OPEC producers, such
as Mexico, Norway and Russia, agreed to trim output by a total of 500,000
bpd. Mexico has since announced that it would cut oil exports by up to 100,000
bpd and Norway has offered to cut production by between 100,000 and 200,000
bpd. As of now, the proposed cuts leave OPEC well shy of its 500,000-bpd goal
for the three nations.
The weekly retail on-highway
diesel prices released by the Energy Department Monday show the national average
cost of diesel is the lowest it has been in more than two years. Diesel has
decreased 33 cents since the Sept. 11 attacks to $1.194 per gallon.
The biggest price drop
from last week was in Rocky Mountain region. Diesel there fell 4.6 cents per
gallon to $1.213. The lowest prices in the nation are found in the Gulf Coast
region. Fuel there dipped 2.2 cents to $1.142 per gallon. The cost of diesel
declined about 2.6 cents per gallon in the New England region. Despite the
reduction, the region claims the highest prices nationally. The remaining
regions' price per gallon is as follows: East Coast, $1.194; Central Atlantic,
$1.286; Lower Atlantic, $1.143; Midwest, $1.198; West Coast, $1.259; and California,