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OPEC urges members to uphold oil production cuts

‘More has to be done’ to help market, Kuwaiti oil minister said

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OPEC officials on Sunday urged member nations to cut their oil production in line with an agreement last year, warning that the petroleum market would remain depressed if they didn’t.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the 13-nation oil cartel that controls a third of global production, need to take compliance with a cut of 1.2 million barrels a day “very seriously,” said Kuwaiti Oil Minister Issam A. Almarzooq, chairman of the group’s committee overseeing compliance.

“More has to be done,” Almarzooq said in a speech distributed by OPEC. “We need to see conformity across the board. We assured ourselves — and the world — that we would.”

Oil prices rose 20% initially after OPEC’s production-cut deal was announced Nov. 30 and those gains were sustained when 11 countries outside the cartel, including Russia, the world’s largest producer, joined the effort with pledges to cut a total of 558,000 barrels a day. But oil prices have fallen in recent weeks as doubts grow among oil traders that OPEC’s cuts are enough to bring a vast oversupply of petroleum back in line with demand.

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