Oil prices have hit their lowest levels since early April as key oil ministers suggest their countries will continue to pump crude at their current levels.
Crude oil fell three percent to a new five-month low, hitting $103.17 a barrel at the close of floor trading in New York Tuesday. The price of Brent oil in London also dropped, almost four percent, to below $100 a barrel.
The drop comes as officials of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meet in Vienna to discuss production and concerns about prices, which have fallen almost 30 percent since hitting a record high of more than $147 a barrel in July.
OPEC President Chakib Khelil said today oil ministers will likely decide to keep production levels steady. Earlier, he told Bloomberg Television cutting oil production would do more harm than good.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi also suggested the 13-member organization would not change its position, saying the oil market is "well balanced" and that inventories are "healthy."
Still, Khelil warned OPEC may have to change course soon because daily oil output could exceed demand by as many as 1.5 million barrels a day by the end of the year.
Oil prices surged briefly Monday on concerns Hurricane Ike was headed for key U.S. oil and natural gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. weather forecasters now believe the storm is on a path that would spare many of those facilities.
Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg.
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