Delayed gratification is said to be a sign of maturity. By that standard OPEC at age 55 demonstrated its maturity this week as it left oil production quotas for its members unchanged . It did so in the face of oil prices that are about 40 percent lower than they were at this time last year , delaying once again a return to the $100-per-barrel prices seen during the past four years. Why OPEC members chose to leave their oil output unchanged is no mystery . The explicit purpose for keeping oil prices depressed is to close down U.S. oil production from deep shale deposits–production that soared when oil hovered around $100 a barrel, but which is largely uneconomic at current prices. That production was starting to threaten OPEC’s market share. If OPEC were to cut its oil production now and drive prices back up, it would only lead […]