OPEC to maintain current production; blames US for 'mismanagement'

OPEC said Wednesday it decided not to put more oil on the global market despite near record-high prices for crude, blaming the US for economic "mismanagement" it said was having a worldwide effect. The 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it opted to pump neither more nor less oil right now because crude supplies are plentiful and demand is expected to weaken in the second quarter. OPEC President Chakib Khelil told reporters the global market is being affected by what he calls "the mismanagement of the US economy," and that America's problems were a key factor in the cartel's decision to hold off on any action. "If the prices are high, definitely they are not due to a lack of crude. They are due to what's happening in the US," Khelil said. "There is sufficient supply. There's plenty of oil there." OPEC did pledge to maintain "constant vigilance" over the market.