OPEC sees emergency session over oil nosedive


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) expects an emergency meeting following the latest spate of downward spirals of oil on global energy markets.

OPEC president Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said Tuesday that he expects an extraordinary meeting of the organization in “early March” to address nosediving crude prices.

“We did say that if it (the price) hits the 35 (dollar per barrel), we will begin to look (at)… an extraordinary meeting,” AFP quoted Kachikwu as saying.

The prices have hit levels that necessitate a meeting, said the OPEC chief who is also Nigeria’s oil minister.

Other reports say a “couple” of OPEC members have requested an emergency meeting, adding current market conditions create the need to hold such a gathering.

Kachikwu told reporters at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE, that the objective of the emergency meeting would be to review OPEC policy to see if there was any need to change strategy.

He declined to name the countries which have requested the emergency meeting.

Lingering Oil Slump

The news comes amid very sharp drops in oil prices.

Global crude prices fell below $32 a barrel on Monday for the first time in 12 years amid signs that Iran could increase exports within weeks after the imminent removal of sanctions against the country over its nuclear program.

In New York trade, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery slumped $1.75 to $31.41 per barrel, a level last witnessed on December 23, 2003.

European benchmark Brent North Sea crude for February delivery dropped $1.61 to $31.55 a barrel, a low last seen in April 2004.

Prices had already plunged by 10 percent last week as concerns about China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, eclipsed a strong US jobs report.


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