9 Jun 2011

OPEC fails to agree on raising production

8:34 am on 9 June 2011

Member states of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have failed to agree on increasing production as a way of bringing down oil prices.

The cost of oil has increased in recent months partly because of the Libyan civil war and threats of unrest in other oil-producing countries.

Saudi Arabia - OPEC's biggest producer - and other Gulf states wanted to increase production to limit rising prices and so ensure continued demand for oil, the BBC reports.

However, oil ministers meeting in Vienna failed to agree on a rise in output.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi said it was one of the worst meetings the OPEC has ever had.

Meanwhile, latest statistics from BP say oil consumption last year rose by its fastest rate since 2004.

Oil consumption in 2010 rose by 3.1%, more than double the 10-year average increase, according to BP's annual statistical review.