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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: It’s the first time in more than three-and-a-half decades that Iran will lead the oil cartel OPEC. But what does that mean for the rest of the world and the oil coming from OPEC? Marketplace’s Stephen Beard is with us live from London with the latest. Hi Stephen.
STEPHEN BEARD: Hello Steve.
CHIOTAKIS: So does this mean OPEC’s going militant?
BEARD: Well this sounds more worrying than it is. The presidency is largely a symbolic role. It doesn’t really decide the cartel’s tactics or strategy. That’s determined by the majority of the group, and that is strongly influenced by the biggest producer, Saudi Arabia.
CHIOTAKIS: And OPEC just wrapped up its meeting in Vienna, Stephen. Are members happy with the current price? What is it — $80-$82 a barrel.
BEARD: That’s right. Well, you have on the one hand, the militant minority — Iran, Algeria, Venezuela — all complaining about the falling value of the dollar. Oil is priced in dollars, so that’s hit the purchasing power of their commodity. Those countries are calling for a price of $100 a barrel to compensate. But Julian Lee of the the Center for Global Energy Studies says that’s not the majority view.
JULIAN LEE: The majority of OPEC recognizes that $80 a barrel in the current global economic environment, and probably in any economic environment, is an extremely good price for their commodity.
In fact, he says, given the fragility of the global economic recovery, $80 a barrel is probably too high a price.
CHIOTAKIS: All right. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard in London. Stephen, thanks.
BEARD: OK Steve.
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