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Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, met in private with some of the world's top commodity hedge funds in July, taking the unusual step of personally canvassing investor views on the state of the market.Falih met the oil investors and traders in London days before traveling to St. Petersburg, where OPEC and non-OPEC ministers discussed the market, the same people said, asking not to be identified because the talks were private. Falih asked the oil traders why the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had achieved only partial success reviving the market and what else the group could do to push prices higher.While Falih sought views on the idea, it's unclear whether the Saudi minister supports the idea or whether he was simply testing it, according to people familiar with the conversations.In particular, the Saudi minister told ministers that the people he spoke to considered it key that OPEC focus on oil export levels and not just production.
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