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OPEC's Beyoncé Problem

There is strength in numbers -- provided your particular gang isn't a bunch of infighting walking wounded. Iran's OPEC buddies fall into the latter category, which is unfortunate both for them and for hair-trigger oil investors trading on every muttered aside ahead of Friday's OPEC meeting.

Look at the price chart with this column and see if you can spot the moment on Wednesday morning when news flashed across the wires that an Iranian oil official had said a majority of OPEC's members agreed on the need to cut production.

Stirring stuff, that. Except that, if OPEC were a clubhouse, it would certainly have both a common room and a VIP-only lounge. And the members beyond the velvet rope aren't on board.

The same official was cited as saying that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states were...