Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Khalid al-Falih speaks to the media at the company's booth during Petrotech 2014, a petrochemicals conference, at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre in Manama May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
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To fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, that speaks volumes. Unlike his predecessor Ali al-Naimi, Falih may not have much time for OPEC. For oil-price hawks such as Iran, Algeria and Venezuela, fears are growing that the 56-year-old OPEC is losing its role as an output-setting cartel and turning into a talking shop.Saudi and Iranian OPEC delegates clashed earlier this month over long-term strategy, with Riyadh saying OPEC should not manage the market and Tehran arguing that the group had been created to perform precisely that task.OPEC has no supply target.OPEC sources and analysts say they expect the group's meeting next Thursday simply to roll over output policy, which OPEC lacks anyway as its members pump at will.For a busy man such as Falih, long discussions among fellow ministers with no guaranteed serious outcome might seem pointless.So could he simply stand up and say Saudi Arabia sees no need to remain part of OPEC?
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