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OPEC oil prices rebound over $40 per barrel
Updated: 2009-03-02 22:01

VIENNA -- The weekly average prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rebounded above $40 again to $40.01 per barrel last week, the Vienna-based oil cartel said on Monday.

The prices saw an overall upward tendency last week, with an increase of about 9.7 percent within the week, reaching a daily average price of $43.30 per barrel on Friday. The daily OPEC oil prices rose on four trading days of last week except Tuesday.

Apart from a natural rebound after prices dive, another important factor is that evidence has shown the crude oil supply tends to be tight. Recently, high ranking oil officials of Qatar, Venezuela and Iraq have all confirmed that OPEC will decide on a further oil output cut at the next Ministerial Conference to be held in Vienna on March 15.

Experience shows that before OPEC's meeting on production cut, the oil prices on the international market will see certain rises. According to the current situation of international oil prices, market generally predicted that OPEC will further slash output. Therefore, the international oil prices will hopefully stop falling temporarily.

However, the overall economic situation influences the trend of international oil prices to a large extent. According to the latest forecast of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the worldwide oil demand will see an average daily decrease of one million barrels this year, the biggest downturn since 1982. Therefore, before the world economy, particularly the US economy, show fundamental improvements, another OPEC production cut is unlikely to drive a complete rebound of oil prices.