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About the only surprise to come from OPEC's decision on Friday to leave oil output unchanged was that everyone got along. "I have been in OPEC for many years, and it is the first time I had seen this," OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El- Badri said after the meeting. "Very, very positive."
Last November, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries introduced its strategy of maintaining production to take market share from higher-cost producers, the group's weaker members like Venezuela argued for a cut to boost prices. This time, even they were supportive amid signs the strategy is working.
The organisation that has long suffered from internal strife managed to swiftly reach consensus. The central figure in OPEC's strategy has been Ali al- Naimi, the longtime oil minister from the group's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia. It was his first OPEC meeting since the kingdom's political reshuffling following the the death of King Abdullah.
Naimi, upon arriving in Vienna this week, said the November strategy was working. But it was Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, who spoke first in the meeting to express support, according to a person briefed on the proceedings. There were no dissenters, the person said.
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