No consensus on oil production limit at OPEC

RSTV Bureau
File photo-PTI

Photo-PTI

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to reach an agreement on output policy at its meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

The member countries were committed to a stable and balanced oil market, OPEC’s spokesman told a news conference.

“While emphasizing its commitment to ensuring a long-term stable and balanced oil market for both producers and consumers, the Conference stressed that, given the current market conditions, the Secretariat should continue to closely monitor developments in the coming months, and if necessary recommend to member countries to meet again and suggest further measures according to prevailing market conditions,” OPEC spokesman Hasan Hafidh said after the organisation’s ministerial meeting in the Austrian capital.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies tried to propose that OPEC set a new collective ceiling in an attempt to repair the group’s waning importance. But the meeting on Thursday ended without new policy and ceiling as Iran resisted the idea.

“I think it’s not a secret that Iran, they still want to produce their pre-sanctions quantity, and also we have another country now is missing from the market – Libya, so, to come up with the number is very difficult to do, but at this time, now, the number that we are producing is reasonable to the market, the market is accepting it, the price is improving, so the market is really positive as we see it,” OPEC ‘s Secretary-General, Abdullah al-Badri, told reporters.

Tehran argues it should be allowed to raise production to levels seen before the imposition of now-ended Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Despite the setback, Saudi Arabia moved to soothe market fears that failure to reach any deal would prompt OPEC’s largest producer to raise production further to punish rivals and gain

additional market share. Saudi’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters earlier on Thursday that Saudi Arabia would not “flood the market”.

(With inputs from agencies)