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Learning English - Words in the News
02 June, 2006 - Published 10:04 GMT
OPEC oil output unchanged
Oil refinery

The cartel of oil producing nations OPEC has decided to leave oil production levels unchanged at its meeting in Venezuela. At a news conference, OPEC announced it would continue pumping oil at full capacity. This report from Greg Morsbach:

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OPEC has decided this was not the time for cutting petroleum output. Energy ministers here didn't have the stomach to cut back production at a time when crude oil prices were reaching historic highs on the international exchanges. It was feared that cuts in the output would send prices even higher and dent global economic growth.

While nobody here seems surprised about oil output levels remaining the same, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela managed to raise a few eyebrows among delegates when he held a highly politicised speech calling on OPEC to be an anti-imperialist organisation.

He went on to describe Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the jailed Marxist militant, as a good friend. Venezuelan-born Ramirez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, led a terror attack against OPEC's Vienna headquarters in 1975.

Greg Morsbach, BBC News, Caracas

Listen to the words

petroleum output
the quantity or amount of fuel produced

didn't have the stomach
were not strong enough

cut back

send prices even higher
make oil even more expensive

have a negative effect on

to raise a few eyebrows
to make some people surprised

here: said, delivered

calling on
appealing to, inviting

a political activist engaged in warfare

main offices

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