Ministers from major oil exporting countries Friday in Vienna said they would cut their collective production quota by 1.5 million barrels a day.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said supplies were high and demand had fallen, calling for a cut to prop up prices, which have dropped 57 percent from the record price set in July.

Prices hit $147.27 a barrel July 11 and fell Friday morning, in spite of the production announcement, to $63.27 per barrel.

“Oil prices have witnessed a dramatic collapse — unprecedented in speed and magnitude,” OPEC said in a statement.

The proposed cut represents about 1 percent of the current production levels.

Low prices “may put at jeopardy many existing oil projects and lead to the cancellation or delay of others, possibly resulting in a medium-term supply shortage,” the statement said.

“Moreover,” the statement said, “forecasts indicate that the fall in demand will deepen, despite the approach of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.”

(Rigzone)