Opec to maintain oil output ceiling

Opec oil ministers have agreed to maintain their present oil output ceiling, signalling satisfaction with prices.

But they have again failed to elect a new secretary general because of rivalries between Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran.

An Opec statement said the ministers agreed in Vienna to aim at producing 30 million barrels a day. In fact, the 12-nation organisation is overproducing by more than one million barrels daily.

The statement also said the ministers agreed to extend Abdullah Al-Badry’s term as Opec’s secretary general for another year.

Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq had vied for the post, which is the public face of Opec between ministerial meetings. But the rivalries between the Saudis and Iran cancelled each other out, while Iraq was viewed by some ministers as pursuing its own agenda instead of Opec’s.

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