Oil prices plunge after Opec meeting

Opec ministers decided not to cut oil production


The price of oil slumped after the Opec oil producers cartel decided not to cut output at its meeting in Vienna

Opec’s secretary general Abdallah Salem el Badri said they would not try to shore up prices by reducing production

There’s a price decline That does not mean that we should really rush and do something he said

Following the announcement Brent crude fell below $72 a barrel, hitting lows previously seen in August 2010.

The 12 Opec members decided to maintain production at 30 million barrels per day as first agreed in December 2011.

We don’t want to panic. I mean it, said Mr el Badri We want to see the market, how the market behaves, because the decline of the price does not reflect a fundamental change

Crude oil prices have fallen 30% since June on sluggish global demand and rising production from the US.

The fall in the oil price has been causing concern for several members of the oil cartel, as most require a price above $80 a barrel to balance their government budgets and many need prices to be above $100 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states can resist for a while said Simon Wardell, energy expert at Global Insight

They have significant financial assets that mean they can sustain a lower oil price. They can secure their budgets without a higher oil price

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer within the Opec oil producing cartel

Analysts suggest the strategy of maintaining output may be aimed at retaining dominance of the market in the face of increasing shale oil production in the United States.

The shale boom has been one of the drivers behind the decline in the oil price

But as the oil price dips, shale becomes less economical to produce.

If oil prices are allowed to remain low for some time that could cap shale production over the longer term. So keeping oil prices low may in fact make sense for Opec

The Saudis want Opec to remain relevant, said analyst Phil Flynn, speaking before the end of the meeting in Vienna. The only way in their mind is to subdue the US shale producer

Opec accounts for a third of the world’s oil sales

Rosberg top after Hamilton issue

Nico Rosberg was fastest in second practice at the Italian Grand Prix as team-mate Lewis Hamilton took second despite reliability problems.

Hamilton sets pace in first practice

Italian GP practise: Inside F1 at Monza

Eddie Jordan War declared at Mercedes

Monza’s famous old autodrome just outside Milan is F1’s oldest venue, and a strong favourite with all participants for its unique demands, character and atmosphere.

However, it is unlikely to be as packed with the boisterous Italian Ferrari fans known as the tifosi as normal, with organisers reporting that ticket sales are down

This is the consequence of a difficult year for Ferrari, who are having their least competitive season for 20 years

The Williams cars are expected to be Mercedes’ closest challengers this weekend, underlined by Bottas’s pace despite the fact that Williams tend to run their cars heavier on fuel on Fridays as they focus on the race, and then become more competitive on Saturday and Sunday

On the race-simulation runs late in the session, when the teams run on heavy fuel to try out the car in the specification in which they will start the race, Williams appeared to be a match for Mercedes, with Red Bull and Ferrari closely matched a little behind them

And, just as in qualifying trim, Hamilton appeared at least a match for Rosberg, despite his truncated session

Algeria halts football after death

algeria has suspended football indefinitely following the death of Cameroonian player Albert Ebosse, who was hit by a stone thrown by fans.

The Algerian Football Federation made the decision after a meeting on Sunday.

Ebosse, who was 24, was struck on the head when leaving the pitch after his side JS Kabylie’s home defeat by USM Alger in Tizi Ouzou on Saturday

Algerian authorities had already ordered the indefinite closure of the 1st November 1954 stadium

That ruling will now apply to all stadiums in the country.

For years now violence has crept into the stadiums and spills over sometimes onto the streets, bringing with it a climate of fear and insecurity

Algeria’s football federation said in a statement it had postponed the league in protest at the irresponsible actions of certain fanatics and hooligans who resort to violence in the stadiums which has reached an unacceptable level

It added that it was considering taking further action, including the expulsion of the club at fault “from all competitions”.

The governing body has also decided that US$100,000 will be given to Ebosse’s family, plus the amount he would have earned over the period of his contract. In addition, JS Kabylie’s players will each donate a month’s salary.

An investigation into Ebosse’s death, and a deeper inquiry into football hooliganism in the country, has been ordered by the Algerian interior ministry

BBC Sport has learned that the 1st November 1954 stadium was under maintenance at the time of the game and fans threw loose stones that were lying on the ground.

It is understood that one of the key questions to be asked by the investigation will be why the venue was used when construction works were still in progress

The match was only the second round of games in the new season