Tensions high ahead of OPEC meeting: Saudis seek low oil prices Iran wants output cut - InfoNews

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Tensions high ahead of OPEC meeting: Saudis seek low oil prices Iran wants output cut

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Naimi listens to a speech during a seminar of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), at Vienna's Hofburg palace, Austria, Wednesday, June 13, 2012. OPEC is holding its quarterly meeting Thursday against a backdrop of a 24 percent crude price decline over the last month or so. Some of the group's 12 members, such as Iran and Venezuela, will likely call on the cartel to cut output in a bid to boost prices. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
June 13, 2012 - 5:25 AM

VIENNA - OPEC ministers are coming to a meeting divided on how much crude to pump. The Saudis want to keep a lid on oil prices, Iran is pushing to cut production and Iraq is expected to back Tehran.

The divisions will test the unity of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which sees itself as the oil market's prime regulator.

The 12-nation group is likely to paper over differences Thursday by deciding to leave output unchanged despite overproduction. But the disagreements might be too deep to overcome and the meeting could break up in disarray.

The gathering comes as many of the world's major consuming nations struggle against a stubborn economic downturn that could be exacerbated by any decision to inflate prices by cutting supply.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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