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Opec expected to roll over production ceiling

Cartel likely to focus on El-Badri's successor rather than on changing output quotas

When the biggest excitement around an Opec meeting is about a technocratic appointment to head the group’s secretariat, oil traders can rest easy. Opec meets in Vienna on 12 December with oil consistently trading within a price range that should satisfy both the group’s price hawks — Algeria, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela — and the doves of the Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia. That suggests the group will roll over its 30 million barrel a day (b/d) production ceiling tomorrow. Any efforts — possibly led by Iran — to persuade Opec to lower the ceiling will be rejected by Saudi Arabia, the group’s lynchpin. The Kingdom has spent the past eight months insisting that prices should ease back towards $100/b

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