OPEC Countries heads into a meeting of ministers on Wednesday with all eyes on Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom was the architect of this attempt to bolster oil prices with a global production cut, and it now could be its undoing.
According to people familiar with the matter, OPEC members have sensed a change in the Saudi position in closed-door meetings in Vienna, with a former openness to Iran receiving an exemption now hardening into a position that the country should cut output.
Iran isn’t the only one seeking an exemption. Iraq, Libya and Nigeria are likely to be allowed to keep pumping, because their oil output had been disrupted by violence.
As tension within OPEC mounted, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said at the weekend that oil markets would rebalance even without an output-limiting pact.
Besides disagreement with Iran and Iraq, Saudi Arabia has also signaled it was unhappy with Russia’s position.
So as OPEC has so far failed to reach an internal agreement a day before the big meeting, Iran and Russia now appear to be having side talk:
• Putin, Rouhani agreed to coordinate actions on commodity Markets
• Putin, Rouhani stressed importance of OPEC effort to cut output
• Putin, Rouhani sees OPEC effort as “ Key Factor in steadying Market”
Today, the OPEC website released a tentative draft of the program schedule of event and live webcast link for the November 30th meeting, presented below.
Live Webcast Link: http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/multimedia/349.htm