Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi. Image courtesy of UNCTAD/Flickr.

Brent prices continued to hover around the high $70s Wednesday as talks between OPEC members held before the group’s official meeting in Vienna later this week failed to deliver output cuts.

Representatives from Russia, Mexico, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia met for impromptu talks but could not agree on a plan that would reduce output and bolster flagging oil prices.

Venezuela foreign minister Rafael Ramirez said all parties agreed the current price weakness is “not good” for producers but were unable to agree on coordinated production cuts, Reuters said.

“We discussed the situation in the market, we shared our points of view, we need to keep in contact and we agreed to meet again in three months,” Ramirez said.

Oil prices fell by over $1 per barrel after the failed talks.

Officials from non-OPEC countries have been arriving in Vienna hoping to persuade Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, to curb output.

Saudi energy officials have said the country does not intend to slash output despite a supply glut caused by booming U.S. production and weak demand in Europe and Asia.

Russia also signaled that it is not rushing to cut production.

“I’d like to highlight that current oil prices are not critical for us. We can postpone some capital-intensive projects,” Rosneft chief Igor Sechin said.

Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have been using the price drop to secure market share, selling discounted products to countries in Asia.

In October, chief of Venezuela’s state owned PDVSA called Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to implement cuts a “price war.”

OPEC will meet in Vienna on November 27.


Leave a Reply