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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OPEC Concerned About Prices

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- OPEC is very concerned about a 13 percent drop in oil prices this year and will take further action if needed to stabilize the market, OPEC president Mohammed al-Hamli said Thursday.

But Hamli, also the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, said no decision had yet been taken by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to hold an emergency meeting before the group's March 15 session.

The minister later told the UAE state news agency WAM that there was also no move yet to increase the size of OPEC's planned 500,000 barrels per day supply cut from Feb. 1.

"We are monitoring the market on a daily basis. The price drop is a big concern," Hamli said.

"OPEC will act to stabilize the market if needed. We need to see the [price] trend and how the market factors the projected cut," he added.

The sharp drop in prices has blunted the impact of the cut agreed to in December, which comes in addition to a previous 1.2 million bpd reduction that took effect Nov. 1.

"No measures have been decided so far about increasing the cuts in OPEC production that were decided in the Abuja meeting on December 14," WAM quoted Hamli as saying.

U.S. crude slumped 2 percent to a 19-month low under $53 on Thursday, following a buildup in U.S. fuel stocks as mild weather reduced fuel demand sharply in the world's top consumer.