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OPEC should try to drive oil prices several dollars higher to reach the cartel's target of $21 a barrel, its outgoing president said Tuesday, but it appeared likely the group would not cut production.

Sadek Boussena, Algeria's minister of mines, opened the summer conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by making the pitch for higher crude prices.He complained about weak prices to colleagues gathered to set a production cap for the summer months, saying the cartel had lost $7 billion in earnings because of low prices from April to June.