Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to maintain a production ceiling that reflects "current actual production," OPEC President Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said Friday. While OPEC had previously had a production target of 30 million barrels a day, actual output has been closer to 31.5 million barrels, according to some market estimates. Kachikwu, who is also Nigeria's oil minister, said OPEC members saw no need at the meeting to specify a production target. Kachikwu, speaking after a closely watched meeting of cartel members in Vienna, welcomed a drop in non-OPEC production and said the organization was "comfortable" to wait and see whether non-OPEC output continues to decline. Oil futures remained lower but off session lows after the comments,with Nymex January WTI crude down 93 cents, or 2.3%, at $40.15 a barrel, while January Brent crude on London's ICE exchange was down 51 cents, or 1.2%, at $43.33 a barrel.
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