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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OPEC to Maintain Quotas

VIENNA -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries plans to maintain oil supplies near a two-decade high as violence in Nigeria and a dispute with Iran over nuclear research keep prices above $60 per barrel.

Oil ministers from Kuwait, Qatar and Algeria said Wednesday in Vienna that there was a consensus to hold OPEC's production quota at 28 million barrels per day.

Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmed Fahd Al Ahmed Al Sabah said the producer group agreed to maintain the ceiling because of high crude prices.

OPEC ministers are meeting formally Wednesday as crude prices show few signs of declining, restraining global growth and contributing to higher costs for consumers and industries.

Possible sanctions against Iran and an attack last month against a Saudi Arabian oil center have also stoked concern that rising energy costs will hurt the world economy.

"With oil prices at $60 a barrel, it was a foregone conclusion they were not going to cut," said Craig Pennington, head energy analyst at Schroders Investment Management in London. "If you do see disruption from Nigeria, if you do see disruption from Iran, the oil price will go substantially higher from here. So OPEC is reluctant to start turning the taps off just now."

Crude oil on Wednesday declined 0.3 percent to $61.40 per barrel in early morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange.