VIENNA: OPEC countries were to meet again here after they failed to agree on output cuts that could stem price pressure from abundant reserves and weak global economic growth.
Saudi and Venezuelan oil ministers voiced confidence that the 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would strike deals on an overall output level and each member’s share.
OPEC countries have been mulling and additional cut that would go beyond their agreement to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day from October 2018 levels.
That deal was originally fixed in December last year, was extended at OPEC’s last meeting in July, and is due to expire in March 2020.
On Thursday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said a preliminary gathering of ministers had recommended an additional cut of 500,000 barrels per day be considered for the first quarter of 2020.
Novak added that level could be re-examined during an “extraordinary meeting” in March.
His remarks did not affect oil prices significantly however, because markets considered it “more of a housekeeping move that will narrow the gap between (producers’) current target and the overcompliance we have seen from the alliance,” Oanda analyst Edward Moya told AFP.
Saudi Arabia has voluntarily pumped below the quota it was assigned under the current deal even while other producers — including Russia — have been exceeding theirs.