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OPEC Holds Emergency Meeting to Discuss Production Increase - 2003-01-11

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries holds an emergency meeting in Vienna Sunday to discuss an increase in the production of crude oil. Delegates from the 11 member nations of OPEC gather for the second time in a month at their Vienna headquarters.

The cartel is expected to increase its official output quota, some officials speculate, by one million, or 1.5 million barrels per day, to make up the shortfall caused by a six-week-old strike in Venezuela, a major supplier to the United States. Saudi Arabia wants a bigger increase, but Algeria and Libya are pressing for a million barrel per day increase, which would represent about a four percent rise over the current output of 23 million barrels per day.

Any increase would become effective from February 1, and would be reviewed at the next regular meeting of the OPEC ministers on March 11.