THE OIL price stand-off is set to rage on after Opec’s forthcoming meeting on Friday, when lead member Saudi Arabia is expected to maintain the group’s high production target despite its detrimental effect on revenues.

Oil pump


Last year OPEC sent the markets into overdrive

This time last year, the oil-producing cartel sent the markets into overdrive with its decision to maintain output, putting immense pressure on the price.

Brent crude fell from its heady highs of $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to a six-and-a-half year low of $42.69 in August and is currently languishing at around $45 a barrel.

The maintenance of the status quo should be good news for motorists in the UK, who recently benefitted from petrol prices falling below £1 a litre at Morrisons’ pumps, with other fuel retailers expected to follow suit.

“We’re not expecting any change in Opec’s headline policy,” said Richard Mallinson, geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects.

“Under Saudi Arabia’s leadership, it will leave production unchanged to push down investment in higher cost output outside of Opec