Opec split over increasing oil production

Ministers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) arriving in the Iranian city of Esfahan Tuesday sent out mixed messages over the expected outcome of Wednesday’s meeting.

Until Monday, a simple rollover of the group’s 27 million barrels-a-day (b/d) output target had been widely expected. But Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Naimi challenged this, saying he is advocating a 500,000 b/d increase in order to calm run-away oil markets. Meanwhile, Opec’s Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which consists ofKuwait, Iran and Nigeria, broke with the recommendation that the group increase its output ceiling by 500,000 b/d from May 1.

On Monday, the light, sweet crude oil

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