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    OPEC Not Considering Oil Cut

    U.S. attacks on Afghanistan shouldn't affect output "for now," cartel says.

    OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez said the organization is not considering production cuts "for now."

    The oil cartel is waiting to see how the oil market reacts to U.S.-led attacks against Taliban rulers in Afghanistan, Rodriguez said. He added that OPEC is also considering economic slumps in developed countries.

    Rodriguez's comments came as Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez said Monday he would be pushing OPEC leaders to "agree on the defense of the price of oil" and suggested the cartel could reduce crude oil output to boost falling prices, the Associated Press reported.

    A group of crudes that OPEC monitors fell $1.52 last week, closing at $19.96 a barrel Friday, the most recent data available. OPEC has a price band system that requires the group to raise production by at least 500,000 barrels a day if the OPEC basket stays below $22 a barrel for 10 consecutive days. The mechanism would have been triggered Friday but the organization ignored it.

    In a meeting last month, OPEC decided against production cuts despite sliding oil prices. The organization said it did not want to aggravate a fragile global economy after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

    OPEC has reduced production three times for total of 3.5 million barrels a day this year to stop the price slide.

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