x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Opec decides to keep output unchanged

Breaking: Opec will maintain its output levels but may meet in the next three months to discuss a production hike.

VIENNA // OPEC says it has decided to maintain output levels, with the option of meeting within the next three months for a possible production hike.

The decision is unexpected and reflects unusual tensions in an organization that usually works by consensus.

Saudi Arabia and other influential Gulf nations had pushed to increase production ceilings to calm markets and ease concerns that crude was overpriced for consumer nations struggling with their economies.

Those opposed were led by Iran, the second-strongest producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri told reporters: "We are unable to reach consensus to ... raise our production."

* Associated Press