OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s crude, kept its production target unchanged in a widely anticipated move that left the group’s output below forecast demand for the rest of the year.
Oil fell for a fifth day in New York to the lowest price in almost eight months on signs of an economic slowdown in the U.S. and China. London-traded Brent crude dropped from the lowest close in more than a year.
The international military intervention in Libya risks prolonging the shutdown of North Africa’s most productive oil fields as well as reprisals by Muammar Qaddafi ’s regime against foreign energy assets.
Crude exports from Iraq’s semi- autonomous Kurdish region dropped to 50,000 barrels a day and may cease in a month if the central government refuses to pay about $1.5 billion owed to producers, Kurdish authorities said.
OPEC will probably maintain production levels when it meets in Vienna next week, resisting calls to ease the pressure of $100-a-barrel oil on the global economy, according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg News.