The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced Wednesday it was increasing oil production limits for the first time in three years.
OPEC, at its regular meeting in Vienna, agreed to increase production limits to 30 million barrels per day, the first time the cartel has increased the ceiling in three years, Bloomberg News reported. This also marks a shift closer to current output.
"We have an agreement to maintain the market in balance and we're going to adjust the level of production of each country to open space for Libyan production," Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying.
A forecast from the cartel said production needs to stay around 30.1 million bpd to keep supply and demand in check during 2012.
In the previous OPEC meeting in June talks collapsed because of disputes over calls from Saudi Arabia to pump more oil to make up for Libyan shortfalls.
The International Energy Agency had called on member states to release crude oil from strategic reserves to offset market disruptions brought on by declines in production from war-torn Libya.
OPEC in its monthly report for December said it was concerned about the economic debt crisis in Europe and the slow pace of economic recovery in U.S. markets. Volatility, the cartel said, ruled in 2011.
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, president of the OPEC conference in Vienna, said the cartel is facing an economy that could fluctuate widely in the coming months.
"We all benefit from market stability," he said in his opening address. "Therefore, we should all contribute to market stability, that is to say OPEC and non-OPEC producers, together with consumers, financial institutions and other interested parties."