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Brent slips towards $97 despite talks of OPEC output cuts

The price of Brent crude dropped towards $97 a barrel today despite talks of lower output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

 

Reuters reported that Brent declined 20 cents to $97.50 a barrel, while US crude was down 40 cents at $93.12.

 

OPEC secretary General Abdullah al-Badri recently said there could be a reduction of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the group's oil supply to 29.5 million bpd in 2015.

 

Meanwhile, conflict in Libya has affected the country's oil production and oil prices have been hit by a strong US dollar in recent weeks.

 

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has reduced its growth forecasts for major developed nations from the previous 1.2% to 0.8% this year.

 

Reuters said that weekly US data showed a sharp increase in stockpiles of crude, but this situation may worsen with the country's refineries going into a maintenance season.

 

Investors are also concerned by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

 

Ayers Alliance chief investment officer Jonathan Barratt was quoted by the news agency as saying that an escalation in the conflict with Islamic State militants, who have seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, could push up prices.

 

"All it takes is one suicide bomber in a European compound in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or any of those countries and people will say 'game on'. That to me is the biggest risk at the moment."

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