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OPEC keeps oil output targets on hold

Wednesday - 12/12/2012, 10:38am  ET

Iraq's Minister of oil and President of the Conference Abdul-Kareem Luaibi Bahedh. left. and the Secretary General of OPEC Abdalla Salem El-Badri of Libya, speak to journalists prior to the start of the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 . (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Associated Press

VIENNA (AP) -- OPEC oil ministers have agreed to maintain their present oil output ceiling, signaling 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 to aim at producing 30 million barrels a day. In fact, the 12-nation organization is overproducing by more than 1 million barrels daily.

The statement also said the ministers agreed Wednesday 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, the public face of OPEC between ministerial meetings. But the rivalries between the Saudis and Iran canceled each other out, while Iraq was viewed by some ministers as pursuing its own agenda instead of OPEC's.

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