OPEC, Russia to Meet in Istanbul

OPEC, Russia to Meet in IstanbulOPEC, Russia to Meet in Istanbul

Energy ministers from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq will be among representatives of key OPEC producers meeting Russian officials for informal talks on oil output in Istanbul next week, OPEC sources and the Russian energy minister said on Thursday.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that he planned to meet OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Istanbul, Reuters reported, citing RIA news agency.

Novak also said he planned to discuss OPEC's output deal with ministers of other oil-producing countries.

Other energy ministers who will be present in the Turkish city as it hosts the World Energy Congress include those of the UAE, Algeria, Venezuela and Qatar, which holds the OPEC presidency.

No decision is expected to be taken in Istanbul, the sources said, but the meeting will be a chance for the officials to discuss the next step after last week's Algiers meeting.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last week agreed a deal to limit crude production and is looking to secure the cooperation of non-OPEC members such as Russia to help to support oil prices.

The agreement reached in Algiers is expected to be implemented this year and OPEC ministers will meet next in Vienna on Nov. 30 to set the group's supply policy.

Algerian Energy Minister Nouredine Bouterfa told the local Ennahar TV that OPEC could cut production at its late-November meeting by 1% more than the amount agreed in Algiers last month if producers reckon it is needed.

"We will evaluate the market in Vienna by the end of November and if 700,000 barrels are not enough, we will go up. Now that OPEC is unified and speaks in one voice everything is much easier and if we need to cut by 1%, we will cut by 1%," Bouterfa told Ennahar.

Algeria also is pushing for higher crude prices, and this was the first suggestion of a possible further decrease in output. Before the Algiers meeting, Bouterfa had been pressing for a 1 million bpd OPEC production cut to stabilize prices.

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