OPEC, Non-OPEC Members Hold Informal Talks On New Oil Cuts

FILE: A GROUP PHOTOGRAPH OF MINISTERS OF OPEC MEMBER COUNTRIES AFTER A CONFERENCE PHOTO: NNPC

By Ogbolu George with agency report

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC ministers will meet on Wednesday (today) for informal consultations in Vienna, in a last-ditch bid to agree the duration of oil output cuts.

The ministers would also seek to clear a global stocks overhang that has pulled down the price of crude.

Top OPEC oil producer, Saudi Arabia, favours extending the output curbs by nine months rather than the initially planned six months, to speed up market re-balancing and prevent crude prices from sliding back below 50 dollars per barrel.

OPEC members Iraq and Algeria as well as top non-OPEC producer Russia also supported a nine-month extension but some Gulf OPEC members, including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pointed to a need for further analysis.

OPEC would meet formally in Vienna on Thursday to consider whether to prolong the deal reached in December in which OPEC and 11 non-members agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017.

A ministerial monitoring committee consisting of OPEC members Kuwait, Venezuela, Algeria and non-OPEC Russia and Oman meets in the Austrian capital to discuss the progress of cuts and their impact on global oil supply.

Saudi Arabia, which holds the current OPEC presidency, will also attend.

Several OPEC delegates said they expected the meetings on Wednesday and Thursday to be relatively painless, resulting in an output cut extension by nine months.

 

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