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OPEC affirms spring pact but argues over violations

Ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting here decided to stick by the terms of their four-month-old accord, Saudi Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani said. The benchmark price will remain at $29 a barrel; the joint output ceiling will stay at 17.5 million barrels a day.

But bickering did break out over pricing and production violations. A senior delegate said Nigeria, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates have flouted their individual output quotas.

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And a potential political row is still brewing over the appointment of a new OPEC secretary-general. Warring Iran and Iraq have both put forward candidates. Sources said the ministers might appoint a compromise candidate from a third country.

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