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OPEC keeps production target at 30m barrels

LONDON — With the price of oil relatively strong, OPEC decided Friday to maintain its current target for oil production at 30 million barrels per day, a move that was expected by the markets.

The price of Brent crude oil, the European benchmark, has recently hovered around $100 a barrel, a level that met with the approval of most members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meeting in Vienna.

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At a news conference following the meeting, the OPEC secretary general, Abdalla S. el-Badri, waved off a suggestion that the $100-per-barrel level was acting as a drag on the world economy, arguing that much of the eventual price at the pump was because of taxes, not the crude oil itself.

For US drivers, increased drilling in the United States and sluggish demand in Europe are putting pressure on global oil prices and have brought a modest amount of relief. The price for an average gallon of regular gasoline in the United States on Friday was $3.61, a drop of four cents from a week ago, according to AAA.

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