Average oil price up 46 a barrel after OPEC hikes

The recent round of price increases by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has raised the cartel's average official price by only 46 cents, to $31.42 a barrel -- still below the $32-a-barrel floor that took effect July 1, Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reported Sunday. OPEC agreed to set a benchmark price of $32 a barrel for its basic crude and a $37 ceiling for its best-quality oil at the cartel's pricing summit in Algiers. Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer, still is holding the line at $28 a barrel for its oil. Abu Dhabi and Indonesia also have refrained from imposing any price increases.

If OPEC should decide to take full advantage of the new pricing package, the periodical estimated, the official average price would rise by $1.83 to $33.25 a barrel.

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