(KUNA) -- The price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of crudes was up 1.37 USD per barrel (pb) on Wednesday, thus coming to USD 68.21 pb and failing to regain the USD 70 pb range, after registering 66.84 pb on Tuesday.
The annual average price thus comes to USD 76.11 pb.
The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB), introduced on 16 June 2005, is currently made up of Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE), and Merey (Venezuela).
The basket price was below the USD 70 mark for the last two weeks, and the range is considered detrimental to producers and detrimental also to interest in investment in oil production.
Despite the loss of some 20 percent of price over the last two weeks, OPEC sources indicated there are no plans for an extraordinary meeting ahead of the regular meeting in October.
Observers meanwhile believe the slump is not due to the customary supply-demand mechanism but rather to anxiety over economic growth in the EU under the pull of the Greek debt crisis.
OPEC ministers had in their meeting in March decided to extend the 24.8 million barrel per day production cap and stressed it was vital all members stick to their quotas.
As the organization failed to stem the drop in prices, it is now urging members most strongly to honor the production cut approved in late 2008.
After the Vienna meeting on October 14, the OPEC ministers are also planned to convene in Ecuador, which currently presides the organization, late in the year.