Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada. Image courtesy of Qatarpetroleum/Wikimedia Commons.

OPEC members will reportedly hold informal talks at an energy conference next month.

Current OPEC president and Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada told the Wall Street Journal that OPEC members will meet on the sidelines of the upcoming International Energy Forum.

The forum will take place in Algeria from September 26 to September 28.

Sada told the paper that, while crude prices are still hovering the $40 per barrel mark, he expects demand to strengthen and supply to soften in the second half of this year.

“Expectation of higher crude oil demand in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, coupled with decrease in availability, is leading the analysts to conclude that the current bear market is only temporary and oil price would increase during later part of 2016,” Sada told the Wall Street Journal.

Sada did not comment on whether the group will discuss a production freeze deal.

According to an Interfax report seen by the Australian, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia is open to discussing a production deal with OPEC members.

OPEC members failed to reach a production freeze agreement in April after Saudi Arabia refused to sign on if Iran did not participate.

At OPEC’s most recent meeting in June the group again failed to implement a production deal.

Despite low prices, most of OPEC’s 14 members have seen crude output grow over the last year.

In June, the most recent month that data is available for, OPEC crude output climbed near an eight-year high.

According to S&P Global Platts, OPEC’s crude oil output grew by 300,000 barrels per day to 32.73 million bpd.

The gains came thanks to increased production from Iran and production recoveries in Nigeria and Libya after militant attacks.

Iran’s crude output climbed back near pre-sanction levels in June to 3.63 million bpd, the highest level since June 2011.

OPEC’s next scheduled meeting will be held on November 30 in Vienna.


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