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OPEC to keep pumping crude, sheds symbolic output ceiling

HOUSTON – U.S. crude fell below $40 a barrel on Friday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it wouldn’t give up a drop of oil to support prices, setting up another tough year for a petroleum industry that has already shed thousands of jobs and cut billions in oil projects.

Without dramatic production cuts by OPEC, it’ll probably take until the end of 2016 for the market to see a rebalance of supply and demand, because of weakening oil-demand growth and the apparent resilience of crude suppliers outside of the 12 OPEC nations, Goldman Sachs said.

OPEC didn’t provide an official production ceiling in a communique or a press conference after its semi-annual meeting in Vienna, but said its output would remain around current levels because production cuts wouldn’t move the oil market enough.

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