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Core Gulf OPEC members in 'consensus' on oil ceiling

A worker walks at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, Iraq, Nov. 23, 2014.
Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters
A worker walks at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, Iraq, Nov. 23, 2014.

Core Gulf OPEC members and others have a consensus to keep the organization's oil production ceiling intact at its meeting this week, a senior Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters on Tuesday, reinforcing a view among a growing chorus of members.

"There is consensus among Gulf OPEC countries, and others, to keep the ceiling unchanged," the source said after an informal meeting of the four core Gulf Arab OPEC members earlier in the day.

"Nobody wants to rock the boat. The meeting is expected to be smooth sailing."

The source said the outlook for the oil market is positive, especially in the second half, echoing comments from other members even as the market remains in surplus.

Most members expect OPEC to stand by its decision to keep pumping out oil at current rates at its meeting on Friday, defending its market share even as some members, such as Venezuela, call for cuts aimed at boosting prices.

Some analysts, including those at Morgan Stanley, have raised the remote possibility that OPEC might surprise the market by raising output. Some of OPEC's 12 members have dismissed that option.