Summary Box: OPEC likely to keep present output

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2011 12:18 PM
Summary Box: OPEC likely to keep present output

CRUDE CALL: OPEC ministers are expected to agree on how much oil to bring market when they meet Wednesday, in sharp contrast to their last meeting in June which broke up in acrimony.

NOT ALL IS WELL: Even though a deal is expected to be sealed, disputes pitting Iran and Venezuela against Saudi Arabia and its allies persist. Iran and Venezuela want Gulf nations to cut back on overproduction. That's something the Saudis _ OPEC's oil powerhouse _ are unlikely to agree to.

IMAGE MATTERS: For OPEC, reaching agreement is perhaps even more important than what is agreed on. In June oil ministers disagreed publicly on how much oil to sell, with Saudi Arabia labeling it the worst ever meeting. This time, they are keen to paper over the cracks and repair OPEC's tattered image.