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    OPEC Set to Cut Output

    Cartel looks to curb production in order to kick start oil prices.

    LONDON -- OPEC oil exporters are expected to announce output cuts of 1.5 million barrels a day Friday after getting satisfactory commitments from rival independent producers to join the curbs, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday.

    Asked if OPEC would announce the reductions at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Friday, Naimi told Reuters: "Yes, we will."

    Kuwait's Oil Minister Adel al-Subaih also said the supply cuts would be ratified by OPEC, which agreed in November to the restrictions on condition that non-OPEC producers contributed their own reductions of 500,000 barrels per day, the report said

    Naimi said there should be no doubt that non-OPEC oil producers, led by Russia, Mexico and Norway, now would deliver on pledges to curb supplies in an unparalleled alliance with OPEC.

    OPEC, which controls nearly two-thirds of world exports, has already cut supply by 3.5 million barrels a day this year and was worried it was losing market share to non-aligned suppliers.

    Oil prices had fallen from nearly $30 for U.S. crude since the September 11 attacks darkened an already gloomy economic outlook, hitting petroleum demand.

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