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OPEC ministers decide to keep oil production targets unchanged, fail to agree on senior post

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VIENNA - 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 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 cancelled each other out, while Iraq was viewed by some ministers as pursuing its own agenda instead of OPEC's.

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