OPEC's decision to cede no ground to rival producers underscored the price war in the crude market and the challenge to U.S. shale drillers. The 12-nation group abandoned its role as a swing producer, ignoring the steepest slump in oil prices since the global recession to keep its output target unchanged.
Even with OPEC forecast to keep its output quota unchanged at a meeting this week, falling oil demand and prospects for increased supply from some member states mean the group’s leader, Saudi Arabia, will have to cut production anyway.
Libya prepared to open some oil ports closed by labor unrest, as the government vied with guards for control of export facilities. The country’s navy said it would seize any tankers attempting illicit shipments.