The Latest: OPEC agrees to increase oil production

VIENNA — The Latest on the OPEC meeting on oil production (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Countries in the OPEC oil cartel have agreed to a new oil output level that effectively increases production by almost 1 million barrels per day.

The increase was announced after ministers from the group met on Friday in Vienna.

The production increase will partly undo a 1.2 million barrel cut OPEC agreed on in late 2016 that has helped push up the price of oil.

Ahead of Friday's meeting, OPEC's largest producer, Saudi Arabia, was seen to be open to higher production but Iran had been hesitant. U.S. President Donald Trump has been calling publicly for the cartel to help lower prices.

Emirati Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the decision was to fully comply with OPEC's self-imposed production limit, and the difference between that and current levels is "a little bit less than 1 million barrels."

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12:20 p.m.

Iran's oil minister is insisting that OPEC's place is not to take instructions from U.S. President Donald Trump but is leaving open Tehran's position on an increase in production.

The cartel's largest producer, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be open to higher production but Iran has been hesitant. Trump has been lobbying OPEC to help lower prices.

Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said as the group met Friday that "we are not here to receive instruction from President Trump and apply it and implement it."

Asked whether he supports increasing production, he replied: "Some of the countries are against any increase, and ask them. I am not representative of them."

Zanganeh said he thinks $70 per barrel would be a "very good" oil price. The international benchmark, Brent, was at $74.19 a barrel on Friday.

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12:00 p.m.

Iraq's oil minister says he is confident that officials from major oil-producing countries will reach an agreement on raising oil production at their meeting in Vienna.

Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said as ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathered Friday that "there is a lot of chance" of an agreement.

He said that there are "many, many options ... and we will settle to one of those options." He wouldn't say what outcome is most likely but said that "we have so many options and they are all workable."

Saudi Arabia's oil minister said the OPEC ministers will discuss a proposal to increase output by about 1 million barrels per day.

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11:45 a.m.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister says officials from major crude-producing nations will discuss a proposal to increase output by about 1 million barrels per day.

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are meeting Friday in Vienna for what could be a difficult gathering.

The cartel's largest producer, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be open to higher production but Iran has been hesitant. U.S. President Donald Trump has been lobbying the cartel to help lower prices.

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said an OPEC committee agreed "to recommend releasing the equivalent of 1 million barrels or thereabout to the market."

A production increase on Friday would undo a cut agreed on in late 2016 that has since then helped push up the price of oil by almost 50 percent.

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