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Scott Jagow: OPEC is meeting in Algeria today. Saudi Arabia has already said the cartel will yank 2 million barrels off the market to try to prop up the price. Plus, Russia and other non-OPEC countries have said they will cut production. But oil traders are just kind of shrugging it off. Here’s John Dimsdale.
John Dimsdale: The International Energy Agency predicts world demand for oil will fall this year for the first time since 1983. Even China is using less oil. And with surpluses piling up, oil prices are dropping.
Joseph Stanislaw: OPEC knows there’s a challenge before them.
Joseph Stanislaw is an oil analyst for Deloitte. He says despite calls for bigger cuts from some members, OPEC can successfully engineer a 2 [percent] to 2.5 percent cut in production over the next few months. But he doesn’t think Americans will notice much difference.
Stanislaw: It’s not going to rocket the price back up to $100 a barrel. It may help stabilize it, or settle it in some range between $50 and $60 per barrel. That will do no damage to the U.S. economy.
He says that’ll be a “comfortable” level for American businesses and consumers, who’ll be paying $1.60 to $2 a gallon at the gas pump for most of 2009.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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