Crude oil production held steady at 24.75 million barrels a day (b/d) in February barely changed from the January level, according to Washington- based Petroleum Finance Company (PFC).

PFC said that global oil stocks fell in February, but not by enough to give a lift to crude oil prices. It estimates that the price of the OPEC market basket of crude oils fell by 2 per cent to $13.70 a barrel from $14 a barrel in January. This compares with $13.10 a barrel in December, the lowest level for more than five years.

GCC oil ministers will discuss energy co-operation with the US at a meeting on 5 March in Jeddah. Plans for a gas network linking the six countries will also be considered, Reuters reported on 20 February.