OPEC to hold emergency meeting on November 18

A police officer stands guard on the rooftop of Vienna's OPEC headquarters before the start of a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna September 11, 2006. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC will hold an emergency meeting on November 18 in Vienna to discuss the impact of the global financial crisis on the oil market, the exporter group said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement followed calls from OPEC ministers this week for action to halt a slide in oil prices. Oil has dropped from a record $147.27 a barrel in July to $87 on expectations the economic weakness will erode fuel demand.

OPEC’s meeting will “discuss the global financial crisis, the world economic situation and the impacts on the oil market,” the statement issued by the group’s Vienna headquarters said.

It reiterated OPEC’s “determination to ensure that oil market fundamentals are kept in balance and market stability is maintained.”

Nigeria, Qatar, Libya and Iraq, all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, have this week floated the idea of a cut in the group’s oil output.

OPEC, which pumps about 40 percent of the oil produced globally, was not expected to meet until a December 17 conference in Algeria.

The 13-member group last convened in September, when it agreed to comply strictly with its formal output target, a move OPEC said meant it would cut supply by about 500,000 barrels per day.

OPEC has reduced supply since the meeting, according to industry estimates, but is still pumping more than its agreed output ceiling.

Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Barbara Lewis