Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. Image courtesy of World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons.

Officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran have all but ruled out reaching a production agreement this week during an informal OPEC meeting.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters that the meeting will be “consultative” and will provide OPEC members, consumers and the secretariat of OPEC a forum to discuss their perspectives.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told Reuters that the meeting is “not the time for decision making.”

Zanganeh added that OPEC will try to “reach agreement for November.”

OPEC members will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria on Wednesday.

The group is scheduled to begin the informal meeting around 2:00 p.m. GMT.

Several OPEC sources told the news agency that Iran wants to boost production up to about 4.1 to 4.2 million barrels per day while other OPEC Gulf members want the country’s output to stay below 4 million bpd.

Sources told Reuters that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is scheduled to meet with Zanganeh on Tuesday in an attempt to persuade Iran to consider a production deal.

Saudi Arabia’s output had declined by 40,000 bpd in August after hitting a record high of 10.67 million bpd the previous month, according to Bloomberg.

Sources told Reuters last week that Saudi Arabia had offered to trim output ahead of the informal meeting.

The sources added that Iran had not indicated if it would accept the offer.

Two previous attempts to reach a production deal fell apart after Saudi Arabia and Iran both declined to participate.

Venezuela and other small OPEC producers have been advocating for a production agreement for nearly two years as they struggle to cope with declining oil revenues.

However, Iran has been reluctant to sign on to a deal as it aims to grow its oil production now that Western sanctions have been lifted.

Iran’s production has held at about 3.63 million bpd for the past several months.

Saudi Arabia has consistently produced over 10 million bpd since oil prices began falling in late 2014 in a bid to hold on to market share.

The International Energy Agency said in its most recent monthly oil market report that it doesn’t expect oil markets to re-balance until 2017 as weak economic growth slows demand growth.

OPEC’s next official meeting is scheduled for November 30 in Vienna.


  1. Same symphony, different date. How many times have we heard this tune?

    Starts with notice of another OPEC meeting. Follows with some statement that KSA is considering a production adjustment or control. The trades get all tingly that maybe, there will be a limit on production. The players meet. They disagree. They publish a statement, blah, blah, blah.

    Nothing new here folks. Now move along, move along. . .

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