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OPEC Would Discuss Output Hike if $80 Oil Lasts

OPEC would likely hold consultations about boosting supply again if the price of oil stayed above $80 a barrel for more than 15-20 days, an OPEC source said on Tuesday.

U.S. crude futures hit a fresh record of $81.24 a barrel on Tuesday. OPEC's agreement last week to boost oil output by 500,000 barrels per day from November has had little impact on consumer concern that energy supplies would be strained this winter.

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"If the high price lasts say more than 15 to 20 days there would at least be consultations between ministers. They'd have to do something about it," the source said.

"But is too early to say," the source added, when asked if OPEC needed to pump more oil.

Any talks would likely be by telephone, the source said. OPEC was unlikely to call an emergency meeting, as it already has an extraordinary meeting planned in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5, the source added.

The high price would not last long as concerns about supply would abate once the world's number one consumer, the United States, built stocks of heating fuel ready for winter, the
source said.

The high price was not good for OPEC as in the long-term it would hit oil demand, the source added.

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