ALGIERS: All options are possible for OPEC concerning an output cut or freeze with producers agreed on the need to stabilize the market, Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa said.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from Sept. 26-28, where they will discuss a possible output-limiting deal. “We will not come out of the meeting empty-handed,” Bouterfa said in Algiers.
Bouterfa repeated his remarks that the informal gathering in Algiers could become a formal OPEC meeting. The group is scheduled to hold its next formal meeting at the end of November.
Before the Algiers meeting, Saudi Arabia and Iran have already sent conciliatory signals that they want to work together, along with Russia which is involved in talks although not a member of OPEC.
Reaching an agreement to stabilize global oil prices, including a possible deal to freeze output, is “non-critical” for Russia, its Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying on Sunday.
“For us, in principle, it’s non-critical, but we believe that the process of market rebalancing could be advanced. It’s beneficial for all,” RIA quoted Novak as saying.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he hopes OPEC countries will reach an agreement to stabilize the oil market at the upcoming meeting in Algeria, warning of “serious risks” for the group if they do reach a deal.
“It is a meeting being held for other reasons, but all the OPEC members will be there, so we hope to have other informal meetings and reach agreements to stabilize the oil market,” Correa said in his weekly televised broadcast.
“Otherwise the consequences could be very serious, it could lead to a disintegration of OPEC itself … There is even a risk that internal disputes within OPEC could lead prices to plummet again.”
Last week Algeria’s Bouterfa suggested one million barrels per day should be removed from global supply.
OPEC last reduced supply in 2008 when the global economic crisis crippled demand.
But an attempt at an output freeze deal between OPEC and Russia collapsed earlier this year after Saudi Arabia said Iran needed to contribute as production recovered following the end to Western sanctions in January.