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Exclusive: OPEC squabbles over oil price, maximizing revenue in strategy report

REUTERS - Internal OPEC squabbles are on the rise as members argue about the need to support a fair oil price and boost revenues just as they feel more pain from low crude prices, an internal OPEC report seen by Reuters this week showed.

A draft report of OPEC's long-term strategy (LTS) carries annotations by Iran, Algeria and Iraq, and suggestions from Iran and Algeria for measures to support prices such as a price target or floor and a return to OPEC's quota system.

Oil prices have more than halved to below $50 a barrel since June 2014 in a drop that deepened after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2014 changed strategy to protect market share, rather than cut output to prop up prices as it did in the past.

The strategy shift was led by Saudi Arabia, supported by other relatively wealthy Gulf members. Others, including Venezuela, Iran and Algeria, had misgivings and have continued to call for output cuts.

These differences over short-term policy are informing the group's updating of its long-term strategy, the document indicates, and may not bode well for a harmonious meeting on Dec. 4, when OPEC oil ministers meet to review output policy.

The 44-page document has 11 pages of comments from member countries added as an annex.

"OPEC should be prepared to establish and defend a price floor, in particular, and to accept a temporary trade-off...