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BRIEFLY

November 23, 1987

Iran's deputy oil minister said a consensus was emerging to raise OPEC's benchmark oil price to $20 a barrel. Iran, relying heavily on oil to fund its war with Iraq, wants higher prices set by the 13-nation OPEC cartel when it meets in Vienna, Austria, on Dec. 9 to review the existing price of $18. The Iranian minister, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, told Reuters that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were also considering a price increase. But oil industry executives say they expect Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, to resist a price rise. Industry sources also doubt if an increase to $20 could be sustained because of persistent overproduction, a glut in the market and price discounting by cash-strapped producers.

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