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OPEC likely to keep output unchanged

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OPEC likely to keep output unchanged

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That fact that Russia has recently overtaken Saudi Arabia in oil exports for the first time is putting pressure on OPEC not to cut output further as its members meet in Vienna this week.

In the second quarter of this year, the Saudis exported seven million barrels of crude per day while Russia pumped 7.4 million as it grabbed more market share from OPEC. There were talks between OPEC and Moscow about co-operating on output cuts when oil prices fell below 40 dollars a barrel, but that never happened and Russia is now raising production to bolster its recession-hit economy, much to OPEC’s frustration. As well as the Russians, OPEC increasingly has problems with its own members ignoring output limits, which means inventories of oil continue to build up, particularly in the world’s largest market – the US.