OPEC oil ministers will hold their first meeting Monday since the gulf war, under enormous pressure to check runaway production and prevent a price collapse.
Analysts predict the 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to curtail output for April, May and June.OPEC President Sadek Boussena of Algeria, upon arrival in Geneva on Saturday evening, said the cartel should cut output enough to get prices back up to its target of $21 a barrel. Prices have slumped almost $5 below that.
"Market attention will be riveted on the meeting," said Peter Bogin, associate director for oil markets at Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Paris. "If they don't get production down, everybody knows we will have extremely weak prices in the second quarter."