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Article updated: 12/11/2012 7:05 AM

OPEC considers oil output, Iran-Saudi rivalry

By

VIENNA -- Tough decisions await OPEC oil ministers sitting down later this week for a policy meeting.

The 12-nation cartel has to deal not only with how much crude to produce for the next few months but must also fill a senior position coveted by both Saudi Arabia and archrival Iran.

With supply plentiful, but world economies shaky, ministers will likely keep output steady when they meet Wednesday.

The bigger problem may be whom to settle on for the post of OPEC secretary-general. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq are in the running. But there are problems with all three candidacies.

A choice between Iran and the Saudis would further polarize the organization. Iraq also is considered by some members to have its own agenda instead of wanting to serve OPEC.

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