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VIENNA -- The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday agreed to lift formal output quotas by 1 million barrels per day, or 4 percent, to 27 million barrels per day, an OPEC delegate said, according to Reuters.
OPEC, worried about the impact of high fuel costs on world economic growth, wants to bring down oil prices that now are running above $44 per barrel for benchmark U.S. crude.
While the deal raises official output limits, it is expected to have little impact on actual supplies because the group already is pumping nearly 28 million barrels per day.
Leading producer Saudi Arabia has already made a commitment to keep supplies high until prices fall.
Cartel delegates said keeping official allocations lower than actual supply would allow OPEC more flexibility to cut back quickly, without readjusting quotas, should prices suddenly fall.