The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Wednesday in Vienna it would keep production levels unchanged because of uncertain market conditions.
At the 160th meeting of the OPEC conference, the world's largest oil cartel said production among members would remain at 30 million barrels per day "in light of the foregoing and given the demand uncertainties."
OPEC said the ongoing debt crisis in Europe and inflation in emerging countries "are likely to contribute to lower economic growth in the coming year." A slight increase in demand, however, would be "partially offset" by rising production in non-OPEC nations, the cartel said in a statement.
OPEC's acknowledgment of higher crude oil prices included the group's contention that oil speculators were pushing prices up.
High prices are "predominantly a reflection of increased levels of speculation in the commodities markets, exacerbated by geopolitical tensions, rather than a result of supply/demand fundamentals," OPEC said.