Divided Opinion Within OPEC Sends Global Oil Prices Tumbling

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The prices of crude oil slipped further on Wednesday morning, November 26, 2014, with prices for the United States (US) benchmark dropping by 2.2 percent amidst rife speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would decide against putting a cap on its' total production to stabilise global oil prices on Thursday, November 27, 2014, despite overabundant global reserves.

    The prices for January deliveries of the US benchmark, the light sweet crude oil or the West Texas Intermediate, drops by US$1.69 dollars to trade at US$74.09 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange, a position last seen in September 2010.

    Meanwhile, the prices for January contracts of the Brent North Sea crude oil steadied at US$78,33 per barrel in London, down by US$1,35 compared to its' closing position on Tuesday morning, Jakarta time

    OPEC is set to convene on Thursday to discuss the issue of falling oil prices, which has hurt the income of the members' of the oil-exporting cartel.

    The cartel , which roughly meets one-third of the global crude oil needs, have maintained a collective quota of 30 million barrels per day for the past three years. International Energy Agency (IEA) records showed that collectively, OPEC members produced 30,6 million barrels per day throughout the month of October.

    However, global oil prices have fallen by around 30 percent since June, which puts pressure on the cartel's less-developed members - such as Venezuela and Ecuador - to call for a reduction in overall output to stabilise prices. OPEC members is set to deliberate on the issue in Thursday's meeting, which is set to take place in OPEC's Headquarters in Vienna.

    Analysts are saying that the cartel's Gulf State members - led by Saudi Arabia - are expected to reject the calls, unless a mechanism that will guarantee them their market share in light of the increasing competition can be agreed on.

    That said, there is a consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers that the global oil prices have dipped far too much, said Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister, Rafael Ramirez on Tuesday.

    "We have agreed that current prices are ultimately bad for business, and this worries everyone," said Ramirez to the press after meeting with his Saudi Arabian, Russian and Mexican counterparts at OPEC's Vienna headquarters.