OPEC took no action to ease a global oil-supply glut, resisting calls from Venezuela that the group needs to stem the rout in prices. Futures slumped to the lowest level since 2010.
The group maintained its collective production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, said today after the 12 nations met in Vienna. Brent crude fell below $75 a barrel in London after the decision, extending this year’s drop to 33 percent.
Oil tumbled into a bear market this year as the U.S. pumped the most in more than three decades and conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine failed to disrupt supply. While OPEC’s 30-million-barrel limit has been in place since 2012, the group actually produced almost 1 million barrels more last month, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“OPEC has chosen to abdicate its role as a swing producer, leaving it to the market to decide what the oil price should be,” Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets at BNP Paribas SA in London, said today by phone. “It wouldn’t be surprising if Brent starts testing $70.”