OPEC Has ‘All Hands on Deck’ as Deadline to Complete Deal Looms


By Angelina Rascouet @arascouet

OPEC members are focused on a “common objective” as a deadline approaches to finalize an agreement to limit the group’s production for the first time in eight years.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ministers are “engaged in extensive consultations,” with fellow members as well as non-OPEC countries, Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of OPEC, said in an interview in Marrakesh. OPEC oil ministers will meet in Vienna at the end of the month.

OPEC countries are “all hands on deck to meet this target date of Nov. 30th and to implement in full the agreement” that was reached in Algiers on Sept. 28, Barkindo said after attending the climate change conference COP22. “I have not heard from one member country who is thinking otherwise,” on the accord that was reached.

OPEC decided on Sept. 28 to reduce its output to a range between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels a day. The organization pumped 34.02 million barrels a day in October, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Barkindo reiterated that there are three countries — Libya, Nigeria and Iran — that have been granted “special considerations” to implement the accord. Iraq isn’t one of them, he said. Iraq asked last month to be exempted from curbing its output because it has been fighting Islamic State militants.

The market remains unbalanced and the “key issue” is to address the overhang of oil inventories, Barkindo said. “The equilibrium price is far higher than the current price regime,” as the market has been out of balance for “so long,” he said.

Barkindo will travel to Caracas, Quito and Tehran for talks in the coming days, said two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday he will meet with Barkindo in Caracas on Wednesday.


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