Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

OPEC, Non-OPEC Vienna Meeting Cancelled after Saudi Pull Back - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Vienna- The non-OPEC meeting expected on Monday has been officially cancelled, Bloomberg quoted a delegate as saying. The Nov. 28 meeting was set to bring together both OPEC and non-OPEC producers to discuss future measures, such as production cuts, to ease out the market glut.

“There is an official letter from (Saudi Arabia) saying (it is) not attending the meeting because the ministers should agree to the cut and then present the agreement to non-OPEC countries,” an OPEC source told Reuters on Friday. “This will be more effective‎.”

OPEC oil ministers will meet on Wednesday in an effort to finalize their deal.

OPEC is trying to cement a preliminary September agreement that would reduce its production to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day. OPEC aims to remove a supply glut and prop up oil prices, which at below $48 a barrel are less than half their level of mid-2014.

The organization also wants non-OPEC producers such as Russia to curb output.

Despite extensive diplomacy, the OPEC side of the deal still faces setbacks from Iraq’s call for it to be exempt and from Iran, which wants to increase supply because its output has been hit by sanctions.

A meeting of OPEC experts this week made some progress in how to implement the cut, but Iran and Iraq raised conditions for participating, according to sources.

“We have to solve our problems as OPEC first. We have not achieved an agreement within OPEC,” a Gulf source familiar with Saudi oil thinking said on Friday.

“Before we meet with non-OPEC and ask them to participate in any action, we have to have an‎ agreement that is credible with clear numbers and a system that the market believes.”

Ahead of next Wednesday’s OPEC meeting, ministers are still trying to find agreement. Algerian Energy Minister Nouredine Bouterfa said he would visit Tehran on Saturday and meet his Iraqi counterpart in Vienna on Monday for more talks.

“We have held lengthy discussions with our counterparts about practical questions and we remain optimistic that the Vienna meeting will consolidate the historic agreement obtained in Algiers,” Bouterfa told state news agency APS, referring to the talks in September that yielded a preliminary deal.