Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi has landed in Vienna ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting. He told reporters upon his arrival that he will listen to the concerns voiced by his OPEC peers and then decide on the group’s strategy.
“We Will Discuss…”
“We have a meeting on Friday, we will discuss all these issues,” al-Naimi told reporters Tuesday. “We will listen and then decide.”
In November, oil prices saw their largest monthly decline since July. Prices have fallen almost 40% the past year as a record glut has persisted while global producers battle for market share.
When asked if Saudi will abide by its market share strategy this Friday, Ali Naimi said, “Who said we are keeping market share strategy? Did I ever say?”
Oil Ministers Head To Vienna
Oil ministers from OPEC’s 12 members will join Ali Naimi in Vienna over the next several days. The group is convening an unusual meeting on Thursday to discuss issues ahead of the formal meeting on Friday.
Despite the clamors of Iran, Venezuela, Algeria, and others over the last year for the group to cut its output, OPEC is unlikely to do so on Friday. The Saudi-led group has consistently maintained a market share defense strategy since its meeting this time last year, when its decision to keep its 30 M/bpd recommended production quota in place sent oil prices plummeting. The 12-member group reaffirmed this strategy at its June meeting as well.
On Tuesday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh sent a letter to OPEC urging a cut in excess output, Bloomberg quoted the Mehr news agency as reporting. The oil minister said the group should cut current output of 31.3 M/bpd to come back in line with the 30/Mbpd quota. OPEC has produced beyond this recommended ceiling every month this year.