World, November 27, 2016 (Bloomberg): OPEC is embarking on a last-ditch diplomatic push to reach a production cut, with ministers flying to Russia for talks, as Saudi Arabia for the first time suggested the oil-club doesn’t necessarily need to curb output.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on Wednesday in Vienna to try finalize the terms of its first production decrease in eight years. Yet the group remains divided about how to share the curbs internally and Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi oil minister, has opened the door to leave the group’s production unchanged.
“We expect demand to recover in 2017, then prices will stabilize, and this will happen without an intervention from OPEC,” Al-Falih said in Dhahran, eastern Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, according to the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. “We don’t have a single path which is to cut production at the OPEC meeting, we can also depend on recovery in consumption, especially from the U.S.”
The comments came two days after Saudi Arabia decided not to attend a meeting with non-OPEC producers, including Russia, scheduled for Monday because of internal divisions within the group. The meeting was later canceled and instead OPEC officials will meet in Vienna to bridge their differences ahead of the ministerial gathering on Wednesday.
“It’s not beneficial to attend the meeting with producers from outside OPEC before holding meetings within OPEC and deciding whether to cut or continue with current levels of production,” Al-Falih said, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.