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Oil producers to slash output

The Press Association

October 24, 208

Oil cartel Opec has agreed to cut production in a move that is likely to halt the recent slide in UK petrol prices.

Members of the organisation decided to cut output by 1.5 million barrels a day from next month in an attempt to shore up sagging prices.

Explaining the reasons for the move, a statement read at the end of the meeting in Vienna said prices had witnessed a dramatic collapse unprecedented in speed and magnitude.

Crude oil has tumbled to less than 70 US dollars a barrel amid global recession fears – less than half the 147 dollar high seen in July.

That has led to falling petrol prices at UK forecourts. Supermarket giants Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury all announced a new round of cuts.

The retailers joined oil firm Total in slashing 3p off a litre of unleaded to take the price down to 94.9p. Morrisons is also cutting petrol costs.

The last time petrol was 94.9p at Asda was last October, and the supermarket said the announcement marked the third time it had cut its petrol prices in a fortnight.

But the decision by Opec ministers failed to halt the slide in oil prices on Friday. Light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange – the benchmark price – was at 64.51 US dollars, a drop of more than three US dollars in the session as global recession fears continued to depress world markets.

Oil prices had edged up from their 16-month low below 67 dollars a barrel to around 69 dollars ahead of Friday’s meeting.

Motoring body the Automobile Association (AA) welcomed the latest price cuts, but warned that moves by Opec to slash production meant that the recent easing in petrol price could be brought to an end.  

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