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Backgrounder: OPEC meetings in 2008
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17:06, December 16, 2008

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OPEC is to hold its 151st extraordinary ministerial meeting on Wednesday in the northwestern Algerian city of Oran, for an expected further oil output cut to bolster tumbling oil prices amid the global economic downturn.

As an oil cartel that has great influence in the world oil market, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held at least five important meetings this year before the Oran meeting:

-- The 147th OPEC extraordinary ministerial conference was held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Feb. 1, during which the cartel decided to maintain the crude oil output ceiling of 29.67 million barrels per day (bpd).

-- The 148th extraordinary ministerial conference was also held in Vienna on March 5 and the OPEC members agreed to keep the output ceiling unchanged.

-- OPEC held its 149th extraordinary ministerial conference in Vienna on Sept. 10, deciding to cut oil production by 520,000 bpd to stem the falling oil prices.

-- During the 150th extraordinary ministerial conference in Vienna on Oct. 24, OPEC members agreed on a further output cut of 1.5 million bpd.

-- On Nov. 29, OPEC held a consultative meeting in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and decided to maintain crude oil output until the Oran meeting.


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