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OPEC apparently is closer to making a 1.5-million-bopd reduction, to help curb slumping oil prices. This move was prodded by Russia’s delayed decision to reduce its oil exports by 150,000 bpd. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said, "We count on the other oil suppliers, which have already made a decision (to reduce output), that they will in fact carry them out" and help support prices. Qatari Oil Minister Abdallah al-Attiyah said, considering that OPEC producers control only 35% of the market, the group is unable to influence global oil prices on their own. He added that if non-OPEC producers fail to cooperate in reducing output, members may choose to leave the cartel. Such action could send oil prices plunging to $5/bbl. OPEC said it will reduce output by 1.5 million bopd early this year, dependent upon non-OPEC producers (including Russia, Norway and Mexico) reducing volumes by 500,000 bopd. The cartel has already secured support of several non-OPEC countries, whose combined cuts total 440,000 bopd. Mexico offered to cut 100,000 bopd and Norway’s reduction is expected to at least match the size of Russia’s curbs. Angola had yet to provide exact figures for its output trims. However, it plans to make a decision this month.

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