File - Naimi is in Venezuela for what some say is a bid to secure OPEC output cuts.
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The Saudi oil minister's visit to Venezuela this week is also a trip through time. Flash back to December 1998 when Saudi Arabia looked to its fellow OPEC member for help lifting oil prices from about $10 a barrel. Now the desert kingdom is cutting prices to the U.S. to contend with upstart shale producers. To win the showdown, the Saudis are trying to bring OPEC's weaker members in line before the Nov. 27 meeting of the organization, said Seth Kleinman, head of European energy research at Citigroup Inc. in London. U.S. fields are pumping 8.97 million barrels a day, the most since the 1980s, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Saudi Arabia's output rose 1 percent to 9.75 million barrels a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Trying to defend prices by acting alone backfired for the Saudis in the past.Iraq pumped 3.3 million barrels a day in October, within 3 percent of February's 13-year high. The bloc's total production rose to a 14-month high of almost 31 million barrels a day.
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