Oil prices fell above $3 on Tuesday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will keep crude output unchanged at its meeting tomorrow.
OPEC's President Chakib Khelil said today that the organization will not increase production due to the economic slowdown in the U.S., political turmoil in the Middle East and expectations of slackening global demand of crude, according to the Associated Press.
Khelil told reporters Because of the economic slowdown in the United States â€” which is affecting world economic growth and world demand on oil this year â€” I don't think OPEC will consider increasing its production. Stocks are very high ... and we are going to have less demand in the second part of the year. The Associated Press noted.
OPEC will meet tomorrow in Vienna.
Crude oil for delivery in April fell $3.25 or 3.17 percent to $99.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 14:08 p.m. Oil prices have increased more than $15 in less than one month. Yesterday oil hit a new record high of $103.95 a barrel.
Brent Crude for April settlement fell $2.90 or 2.87 percent to $97.95 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. Brent Futures rose to $102.29 a barrel on Monday , the highest since trading began in 1988.
Furthermore, prices declined today as analysts expect the U.S. Energy Information Administration department will report tomorrow that crude inventories rose from 2.1 to 2.4 million barrels the week ended February 29, according to surveys.
The Energy Department reported the previous Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories increased 3.2 million barrels to boost for a seventh week in the week ended Feb. 22.
The report is scheduled for tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.