OPEC decides to maintain oil output

OPEC, pumping at near-capacity, decided to leave its oil output unchanged Thursday and rejected suggestions by Venezuela to prop up prices with a production cut. Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah told reporters of the decision after OPEC members finished a closed-door session that confirmed an earlier informal agreement not to alter current crude output. Venezuela had urged countries to consider a production cut, but many OPEC members have said they would not support such a move. Speaking shortly before OPEC met formally, al-Attiyah said despite the market being oversupplied, "prices are still around US$70 (€54) a barrel."