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Opec output target seconded by Libya as ministers head to Vienna

[TRIPOLI] OPEC will maintain its production target next week, Libya's deputy vice prime minister said, joining Kuwait in predicting no policy change when oil ministers from the 12-member group meet in Vienna next week.

The output target will remain 30 million barrels a day, Mohammad Oun, Libya's deputy vice prime minister for energy, said by phone from al-Bayda, eastern Libya.

Mr Oun will be part of Libya's delegation to the June 5 meeting. Opec is working on a long-term strategy draft to present next week that is likely to show projections of crude supply from non-Opec producers are the same as those forecast in 2014, he said.

"The target number will not change," Oun said. Libya is pumping 400,000 barrels of oil a day, state-run National Oil Corp spokesman Mohamed Elharari said in a phone interview on Thursday. That makes Libya the smallest producer in Opec.

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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will be meeting to decide on the group's production target for the next six months amid a glut that sent prices down about 50 per cent last year. Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest exporter, led Opec's decision in November to maintain its output target to defend market share amid booming US shale supplies.

Brent crude has climbed 7.3 per cent this year with US producers scaling back. It was trading at US$61.50 a barrel on Thursday.

Libya joined Kuwait in predicting no change to policy after Abdulmajeed Al-Shatti, a member of Kuwait's Supreme Petroleum Council, said on May 12 that the organization will "stick with" its present strategy.

Kuwait is Opec's fourth biggest crude producer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has only said it's "unlikely" Opec's output ceiling will change, according to Mehr news agency.