OPEC

is cutting excess crude production now and will slash output quotas by 1 million barrels a day effective April 1, several oil ministers said Tuesday, according to press reports.

The

Associated Press

reported that the moves will cut daily production by about 10%.

AP

said members agreed to the two-stage output reduction in an attempt to keep oil prices stable when warmer weather is expected to erode demand in major importing countries.

Oil prices rose on the news. North Sea Brent crude for March delivery added 59 cents to $29.70 in London, while March contracts for light sweet U.S. crude were up 72 cents to $33.55 in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.