Oil in focus ahead of OPEC meeting

Oil has jumped about 81% since February

By MSN Money May 26, 2009 1:32PM

Crude oil turned higher this afternoon, rising 4 cents to $61.71 a barrel this afternoon, ahead of Thursday's meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, Austria.

 

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said OPEC would "probably stay the course" regarding oil production; al-Naimi expects demand to pick up, pushing prices up to $75 a barrel.

 

That target may be overshooting, one expert said.

"We've got plenty of supplies, and there's nothing to suggest the economy is improving," Peter Beutel, the president of energy consulting company Cameron Hanover, told Bloomberg News. "OPEC doesn't look like it will lend much support. The market is trying to figure out where it's going next."

 

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy this morning said he wants oil-rich countries and the world's biggest powers to work together to help stabilize oil prices. Sarkozy, who was speaking to diplomats and French military personnel in the United Arab Emirates, said he wants to discuss fuel prices at the Group of Eight meeting in Italy in June.

 

Oil has jumped about 81% since February, when it traded around $34 a barrel. But it's still well below the record high of $147.27 hit last July.

 

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