What was to be a smooth OPEC ministerial meeting instead began with a jolt last week as Ecuador announced it may bolt the group. Ecuadorian Oil Minister Andres Barreiro says his country wants to increase production beyond its assigned quota and save the estimated $3 million/year it costs to belong to the group. Ecuador is one of the smallest OPEC producers, with output of about 318,000 b/d in the first half. It has increased the focus on development projects as part of an effort to maintain

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