Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih flew to Baghdad on Monday in an effort to convince Iraq to go along with a nine-month extension of oil output curbs ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries later this week, The Wall Street Journal reported. OPEC officials say Iraq has supported extending the agreement for six months instead of the nine months sought by the Saudis, according to the report. "All producers agree on the idea of extending the deal but the duration will be decided during the meeting," OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said at a news conference Monday. Oil futures remained higher, with West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 65 cents, or 1.3%, at $51.32 a barrel. OPEC and major non-OPEC producers, including Russia, have been widely expected to agree to extend an agreement struck last year that cut production by 1.8 million barrels a day.
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