OPEC head says markets should brace for 'surprise' announcement

The head of OPEC said financial markets should brace for a "surprise" decision on oil output cuts by the cartel during its summit later this month. Chakib Khelil, who is also Algeria's energy minister, has told The Associated Press that "a consensus has formed for a significant reduction of production levels" by the 14-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC members are to announce their decision during a summit in Oran, Algeria, on Dec. 17. Markets are expecting an output reduction but Khelil suggested in an interview Saturday that it could be deeper than expected. Khelil said the best way to boost oil rates is to "surprise" markets. Oil prices settled at four-year lows Friday at $40.81 per barrel.