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OPEC agrees to hike output 500,000 barrels

OPEC will raise its daily output by 500,000 barrels a day, or 2%, to meet an expected winter consumption surge, the cartel said in Vienna Tuesday.

The 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, responsible for about one-third of the world’s crude supply, said 10 of its members agreed to increase OPEC’s production ceiling to 27.2 million barrels a day from 25.8 million barrels a day starting Nov. 1. Iraq and new member Angola aren’t subject to production limits, OPEC’s first official rise in more than a year.

“Our message to the consumer is that we care and we are concerned and that is why we increased production,” OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said at a news conference. Acting Kuwaiti oil minister Mohammad Al-Olaim said the cartel thought that the market price was “a little bit high” and that the output increase would support “sustained” economic growth, The Wall Street Journal reported. After the announcement crude oil rose to a record high close of $78.23 a barrel, up 74 cents or 0.95%. (m&