Since Opec agreed to restrict oil output to 24.58 million bpd, the price of Brent crude has lost almost a dollar to around nine- month lows. Demand for oil products in Europe and North America continued to be depressed by the unseasonally warm weather and has squeezed refining margins close to unprofitable levels. American Petroleum Institute figures released this week showed crude oil stocks up 1.1 million barrels to 325.15 million barrels.
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A STEADY rise in Opec crude oil output appeared to level out in November, according to a Reuter survey that estimated total volume at 25.2 million bpd against 25.13 million for October. Excluding Ecuador, which is leaving the producer group on 31 December, the November total would be 300,000 higher than the ceiling to which Opec is pledged under its new accord.