Singapore: Oil prices surged higher in Asian trade on Wednesday with OPEC expected to stick to its production levels despite pressure from US President George W Bush to pump more crude, dealers said.
In early morning trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery rose 19 cents to $99.71 a barrel from $99.52 in late US trades Tuesday.
“OPEC is widely expected to leave oil production levels unchanged,” said David Moore, a commodity strategist from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
“OPEC is likely to be keen to avoid any significant oil market surpluses building, especially as we continue to move past the period of high demand associated with the northern winter,” he said.
Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil, who is also the president of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has said he was not in favour of a production hike when the cartel meets later Wednesday in Vienna to decide its output quotas.
“I would prefer in this situation to lower production because demand globally is going to be lower,” Khelil said ahead of the meeting.
OPEC’s official daily output quota is current set at 29.67 million barrels of oil.