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THE WEEK AHEAD : VIENNA : Quotas Top OPEC's Agenda

March 05, 1991

Ministers of the 13-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will likely have a full agenda when they meet in Austria on Monday, for the first time since the war in the Persian Gulf.

The main agenda item will certainly be production quotas, which have been ignored since OPEC member Iraq invaded fellow member Kuwait on Aug. 2. Other producers, notably Saudi Arabia, boosted production to make up for oil lost under the U.N.-sanctioned embargo of both Iraq and occupied Kuwait.

Now that the war is over, there is concern that oversupply may depress world crude oil prices, although prices have actually edged up since hostilities ceased. But reaching agreement on new quotas is sure to test the new Gulf order.

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