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Sat 11 Jul 2009 11:48 AM

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OPEC to decide on crude output ceiling in Sept

OPEC has repeatedly said prices of around $75-$80 per barrel are needed.

Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday the cartel would decide on the crude production ceiling in September, but it had not scheduled an extraordinary meeting, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"After evaluating all market conditions, OPEC will decide about the output ceiling at its next meeting ... So far no extraordinary meeting has been scheduled," Mohammad Ali Khatibi said. OPEC meets next in September.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has repeatedly said prices of around $75-$80 per barrel are needed to secure investment in new oil supplies for the long term.

OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on Wednesday oil prices - now trading just above $60 per barrel - were "comfortable", but were still below the level the producer group wanted.

Earlier this year, the group said it was willing to live with lower prices to help the economy recover, but at its May meeting OPEC said oil at around $75 a barrel could be achieved this year and the world was ready to cope.

The oil market reached its highest level this year, at above $70 a barrel, in June, buoyed by investor optimism that the economy was strengthening. But this month the mood has changed. (Reuters)

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