Oil slips as OPEC meeting ends with no output cap
Statement only emphasizes need for members to work for 'stable market' for crude
Oil prices fell Thursday after a meeting of OPEC officials ended with the cartel unable to agree on limiting supply.
A statement read at the end of the meeting emphasized the need for members to work for a "stable market" for crude, but it stopped well short of any agreement to turn off the taps and push prices higher.
For decades, the 13-member oil cartel was able to essentially dictate what the world pays for oil because its members controlled so much supply — four out of every 10 barrels of oil consumed every day around the world currently come from an OPEC nation.
But that iron grip started coming to an end in recent years, as the price rocketing above $100 US a barrel compelled other countries to work to find more oil. Sources such as Russian offshore oil, Canadian oilsands oil and U.S. shale oil have flooded the market, pushing down prices and leaving OPEC nations fighting among themselves for market share.
Some within the cartel have been pushing for OPEC to limit supply, driving up the price for all. But smaller member nations, desperate for whatever revenue they can get for their crude stocks, won't agree to do so.
Thursday's meeting was the second one this year in which the cartel pushed for an agreement, but failed to achieve one.
The price of oil fell sharply upon the news. The U.S. benchmark dipped below the $48 a barrel level in early trading before regaining some ground. Benchmark North American crude was down 84 cents US at $48.17 US per barrel just before 10:30 a.m. ET.
One piece of news that did emerge from the meeting was word from two delegates who said Nigerian candidate Mohammed Barkindo was chosen to be OPEC's new secretary-general.