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Doubts About Cutback Boost Crude Oil Prices

Wed., March 25, 1998

Crude oil fell almost 4 percent Tuesday on doubts that oil exporters will honor an agreement to cut production that sent prices soaring to their biggest rise in seven years.

Crude oil for May delivery fell 59 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $15.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after surging $1.90 Monday to $16.51. Five months ago, a barrel of crude fetched about $23.

Oil surged 13 percent Monday as exporters, including Saudi Arabia, pledged to cut daily output by as much as 1.6 million barrels to boost prices from nine-year lows. Traders are wary because some countries, such as Venezuela, have broken promises in previous years to pump less.

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