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$2 cut in oil by Iraq brings OPEC pricing unity nearer

An oil price cut by Iraq in response to the world surplus brings OPEC closer to a deal on a unified pricing structure which would enable it to close ranks against a buyer revolt, oil company executives report.

Buyers reported that Iraq had notified them it would charge $34.93 a barrel, a $2 cut. As Iraq included in its price a 75 cent pipeline fee, it appeared that it had opted for a base price around $34.

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Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -- unable to settle on a $34 compromise at an August summit -- are trying to reunify all OPEC quotes around a $34 base, which would give all 13 members a more-or-less equal chance fighting for sales in the present surplus-ridden market.