All Options Possible for Algiers OPEC Gathering

Algeria says the oil market is in much more critical shape than when OPEC last met.Algeria says the oil market is in much more critical shape than when OPEC last met.

All options are possible for OPEC concerning an output cut or freeze, as producers agree on the need to stabilize the market, Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa said on Sunday.

"We will not come out of the meeting empty-handed," Bouterfa told reporters in Algiers, Reuters reported.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum to be held from Sept. 26-28 in Algeria where they will discuss a possible output-limiting deal.

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 that is involved in talks although not a member of OPEC.

Last week, Bouterfa suggested 1 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 Saudis said Iran needed to contribute as production recovered following the end to sanctions in January. Iran says it wants its rightful share, which is seen to be around 4 million barrels per day it produced before sanctions.

Bouterfa also said that the oil market is in “much more critical” shape than when OPEC last met and its members must seek ways to stabilize crude prices.

"Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest producer, is willing to do its utmost to ensure the discussions succeed and is open to capping or reducing its production," he said.

The Algerian minister noted that the situation since the last meeting in June has worsened and is more critical.

“So it’s important to see what measures can be adopted in the short term and very short term to find a solution to this situation that isn’t helping any OPEC country,” he said.

Crude prices, which have dropped more than half from their 2014 peak amid a global supply glut, rebounded last month on speculation that OPEC and Russia might revive a pact to limit production.

Prices have since cooled and benchmark Brent crude futures fell 3.7% to $45.89 a barrel on Friday.

"A reasonable price for crude Algeria would be a range of $50-60 a barrel," Boutarfa said.