Even the first pullout of an OPEC member can't undermine stability in oil prices (see story, p. 34). Markets shrugged off the withdrawal of Ecuador from the group, which this month agreed to maintain current production in the fourth quarter, a time of increasing demand that usually spurs a boost in OPEC quotas. Nymex light sweet crude closed Sept. 23 at $22/bbl, about flat on the week and within $1 of where it's ranged since the end of spring.

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