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OPEC Leaves Output On Hold, Causing Oil Price Jump

OPEC chief Abdullah al-Badri denied a rise in output was needed.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has unexpectedly left its production levels unchanged, causing oil prices to jump.

OPEC officials said that because of a policy deadlock, the group would maintain present output ceilings with the option of meeting within the next three months to consider a hike.

In comments reflecting unusual tensions in the 12-member group, Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told reporters that member countries were unable to reach consensus to raise production.

Badri denied that an output increase was needed, despite the situation in Libya.

"We have enough supply on the market, there is no shortage whatsoever even though we have absence of one country [Libya]," he said, "but as of today we are not in crisis."

The news, however, sent oil prices sharply higher.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was up $1.25 to $100.34 per barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading lower ahead of the OPEC meeting.

compiled from agency reports