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OPEC expected to maintain current production: Kuwait

Kuwait expects the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep the oil production ceiling unchanged so as not to alter prices, the wealthy Gulf country's oil minister said on Tuesday.

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait expects the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep the oil production ceiling unchanged so as not to alter prices, the wealthy Gulf country's oil minister said on Tuesday.

Asked if he believes the OPEC cartel will decide to maintain current output at its regular meeting in Vienna this week, Ali al-Omair said: "I think yes."

"I think that all parameters lead to keeping the production as it is and this, of course, will be reflected in (oil) prices" remaining unchanged, Omair told reporters outside parliament before leaving for Vienna.

He said he believes that by not changing the oil output ceiling, there will be no "big changes" in crude prices.

The 12-member OPEC, which supplies about one third of the world's crude, is pumping around 30 million barrels of oil daily.

OPEC is also satisfied with current price levels at around US$100 a barrel.

Oil prices extended their gains in Asia on Tuesday as investors cheered robust economic data from the United States, China and Japan, with the breakdown of initial Ukraine-Russia talks to avert a gas cut-off also boosting prices.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July gained 39 cents to US$104.80 a barrel in afternoon trade after jumping US$1.75 in New York on Monday.

Brent North Sea crude was up 14 cents to US$110.13 for its July contract after leaping US$1.38 in London trade.

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