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Oil prices lower in Asia

business Updated: Feb 24, 2009 10:32 IST

Oil prices continued to slip in Asian trading hours on Tuesday, pressured by demand worries even though expectations of more OPEC production cuts are limiting the falls, dealers said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, eased 32 cents to $38.12 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for April delivery fell six cents to 40.93.

"Crude prices continue to be broadly hemmed in by the opposing forces of weak oil demand and OPEC supply cuts," analysts from Societe Generale said.

Algeria's energy minister said over the weekend that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will likely cut production levels again in a bid to boost slumping oil prices when the cartel meets in March.

OPEC, which pumps 40 per cent of the world's oil, cut output last year by over 4.0 million barrels per day in a bid to reverse tumbling prices and protect revenues.

International energy consultancy CGES said on Monday the cartel would find it "extremely difficult" to raise prices by cutting production because of the current economic climate.

"The weak state of the global economy will make it extremely difficult for OPEC to sustain higher prices," the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) said.