Strange Bedfellows in Vienna

OPEC finds new friends who also want to raise prices

With ample reason, nonmembers have never been especially fond of OPEC, but no one would know it from the looks of the chummy gathering in Vienna last week. Suddenly oil-country diplomats who only a few years ago would have been mortified to be seen cooperating with OPEC were showing up and making conciliatory gestures. A Chinese official was there, chatting with his counterpart from Mexico during a photo session. An oil-patch emissary from Texas mingled on the sidelines with ministers from Malaysia and other countries. Even an observer from the petrol-pumping province of Alberta, Canada, joined the unique assemblage.

It was...

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