Updated from 11:12 a.m. ESTCrude oil prices fell sharply Friday ahead of a weekend meeting of OPEC. The benchmark U.S. crude closed down $1.66 at $47.18. The March futures contract closed slightly higher Thursday but traded as high as $49.75. Prices have been trading around a two-month high in the past week, thanks to a variety of supply-and-demand factors from weather to geopolitics. One question is whether OPEC members would agree to a second round of production cuts at its meeting, having trimmed output by 1 million barrels a day as of Jan. 1. OPEC's president Friday said the cartel will not change its output quotas, according to Dow Jones. Meanwhile, the upcoming elections in Iraq Sunday have raised concerns about new sabotage attacks on the oil industry infrastructure there, a factor that helped boost prices during much of 2004. In addition, a two-week cold snap has gripped much of the northeastern U.S., creating a spike in heating oil demand. Prices are now about 10% below their record high of some $55 a barrel touched in late October, having fallen close to $40 a barrel at the peak of the correction.