Russia, Saudi Energy Ministers May Meet

Russia, Saudi Energy Ministers May MeetRussia, Saudi Energy Ministers May Meet

Saudi Arabian and Russia energy ministers could meet in Qatar this week on the sidelines of a major energy forum, industry sources said, as OPEC and non-OPEC members try again to clinch an oil output limiting deal.

In September, OPEC agreed at a meeting in Algeria on modest, preliminary, oil output cuts in the first such deal since 2008, with special conditions given to Libya, Nigeria and Iran, whose output has been hit by wars and sanctions, Reuters reported.

The agreement is expected to be finalized at the next OPEC meeting on Nov. 30 in Vienna but with two weeks to go to the next gathering, disagreements persist among OPEC members and non-OPEC Russia on the exact details of the deal.

Oil prices have fallen toward $45 per barrel from over $53 per barrel in recent weeks after experts including the International Energy Agency said a failure by OPEC to reach a deal would mean the market might remain oversupplied for whole of 2017.

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak was due in the Qatari capital, Doha, this week for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum which unites 12 countries including OPEC members Algeria and Iran.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was expected to meet other energy ministers from OPEC and possibly Novak on Friday, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meetings were not made public.

Iran has refused to cap production below 4 million barrels per day as it seeks to regain market share lost under sanctions. Tehran said it pumped 3.92 million bpd in October.

Russia has said it prefers to freeze output while OPEC wants Moscow to contribute to cuts. Iraq has also signaled it wanted its production to be calculated according to its own estimates and not the estimates of OPEC.


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