MTECHTIPS:-Crude settles at $53.05 on Friday

MTECHTIPS:-Crude settles at $53.05 on Friday

MTECHTIPS- Crude oil settled at $53.05 during light trading on Friday, up slightly. The price of Brent oil was down by 8 cents at around 1 p.m. Central, but settled at $55.15, up slightly. The market was not very active today, as the Christmas holiday weekend sent many home early from work. Traders continue to worry that OPEC will not be able to keep producers in line and force a production cut next year. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in war-torn Iraq appears poised to ignore the OPEC agreement last month to slash oil production and is planning to increase output in the coming weeks, according to industry sources. Since the U.S. pullout of most troops from Iraq, Baghdad has no control over the regional Kurdistan government. The government is not sovereign, and is not recognized by the international community as such, and so it was not given a seat at the Nov. 30 meeting of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries in Vienna, and so could not make its objections known widely at the time of the production cutting accord. Keeping oil production high, or even increasing it, is high on the agenda of Kurdish leaders in Iraq.

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