The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided to keep its production levels of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) for the next six months, which resulted in a 1.4% decline in the price of Brent crude oil.

Opec, which comprises 12 oil producers, held its biannual meeting in Vienna on Friday (5 June).

Oil hit its lowest price in six years in January, when it stood at $45 (£29.49, €40.51) a barrel and has since climbed up to trading near $62.

Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Iran's oil minister, told reporters he did not think prices would fall again when Iran re-enters the oil markets after Western sanctions imposed out of fear for Iran's nuclear power.

He told CNBC: "I don't believe that we will witness a new fall in the oil price in the market, but the main issue for Iran I should emphasis is to achieve the traditional market share of Iran in the oil market."

Iran's expectation to be able to export oil again in the near future, and Libya's hope to fully re-open its tap, despite a continuing civil war, fuelled fears that oil prices would plummet because of high demand.

Opec seemed to ignore concerns about rising supply and a threat of declining demand because of the rise of shale from the US.

Dr Gary Ross, executive chairman of PIRA Energy Group, told Reuters: "The markets are moving in Opec's favour. Prices are stimulating robust demand growth and slowing capex. This was the objective of the Saudi strategy and it's working."

These are the OPEC member states:

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Ecuador
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Libya
  • Nigeria
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela

Indonesia, which now imports more oil than it exports, used to be a member state and hopes to re-enter again, saying it could ease communication between producers and consumers.