OPEC members have gathered in Vienna for a meeting widely expected to be contentious
Saudi Arabia, the informal leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is reportedly trying to negotiate a reduction of oil output quotas with smaller producers in Africa, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, according to RT News.
Saudi Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman discussed the issue with several African delegates in Vienna on Saturday, the unnamed sources told the journal, stressing that they left the talks without a deal.
At the same time, Riyadh was reportedly discussing a potential increase in oil production quotas with the United Arab Emirates, another influential member of the oil cartel.
OPEC and its Russia-led allies, known as OPEC+, are meeting this weekend at the group’s headquarters in the Austrian capital. The delegates are planning to make new decisions on a production plan.
Unnamed sources familiar with the discussions previously told Reuters that additional production cuts of up to one million barrels per day (bpd) would be discussed, among other options, at the upcoming session.
Separately, Iran’s OPEC Governor Amir Hossein Zamaninia told AFP news agency that all options related to further production cuts remain “on the table.”
Global crude prices have fallen more than 20% since OPEC+ countries took their first steps toward output cuts in October 2022. The measure, which came into force in November, was expected to take some two million bpd off the market.
In April, the group agreed further curbs, which took effect in May and are set to last until the end of 2023. The total volume of oil leaving global markets was expected to be 1.66 million bpd.