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OPEC agrees to hold the line on oil prices

OPEC ministers vowed Wednesday to hold oil prices at current levels, and cartel powerhouse Saudi Arabia said it would reduce its oil production to give more sales to cash-strapped Nigeria. The Saudis will cut production by 100,000 barrels a day in August and by 150,000 in September, with Nigeria boosting its output by that amount.

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The moves are expected to head off any immediate crisis for the 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but probably will not stop petroleum and gasoline prices from declining this summer, one European oil consultant said. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gasoline prices in the United States and some other Western countries have been holding steady, and in some cases decreasing, mainly because supplies are up as a result of increased worldwide oil production.

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