Iran hopes Russia, Saudi can agree on oil market stabilise moves

Iran hopes Russia, Saudi can agree on oil market moves

Iran hopes non-OPEC Russia and OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia can agree to coordinate on possible actions on the global oil market, as both countries’ ministers met on Sunday.

“I hope the two sides can reach an understanding, … that and Russia and non-OPEC countries will reach an understanding over the decision by OPEC members to decrease oil production,” said Zanganeh, quoted by Iran’s oil ministry news agency SHANA.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed in Algiers on Sept. 28 to reduce production to a range of 32.5 million to 33.0 million barrels per day, which would be its first output cut since 2008. Another meeting on Nov. 30 is set to firm up details of the accord.

“Since OPEC has reached the framework of an agreement, efforts should be made so that non-OPEC countries can also agree among themselves,” Zanganeh said.

Russia’s energy minister met with counterparts from Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf oil-producers to discuss steps to stabilize crude markets amid OPEC’s drive to win cooperation from the biggest supplier outside the group in limiting output to prop up prices.

Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates gathered in Riyadh for oil talks at the offices of the Gulf Cooperation Council secretariat. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met with them later on Sunday for a separate round of talks and was expected to speak afterward at a news conference. Oman was the only one of the GCC’s six members not attending.

“Oil markets are on the way to being re-balanced,” Saudi Arabia’s Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the start of the GCC meeting. “Low oil prices are putting pressure on GCC countries’ development plans.” Russia was invited to attend the Gulf ministers’ talks, he said. “We are working with Russia and other oil producers to stabilize the market.”

OPEC is seeking to attract other producers to join the plan it agreed to last month at a meeting in Algeria to put into effect the group’s first output cuts in eight years. Crude plunged to a 12-year low in January, squeezing the budgets of producers from Venezuela to Saudi Arabia. The price slide led OPEC to abandon its two-year-old Saudi-led policy of allowing members to pump as much as they could in an effort to protect market share.

Novak is set to meet representatives of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday in Vienna for talks that could include production cuts, and officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia will hold bilateral discussions later this month. While Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to cooperate with OPEC, he’s been vague about whether the country will trim output or just freeze production at September’s post-Soviet record.

Iraq asked OPEC for an exemption from participation in any cuts, Oil Minister Jabber Al-Luaibi said Sunday at a news conference in Baghdad. He cited Iraq’s war against Islamic militants as the reason the country should be grouped with Iran and Nigeria as members not required to contribute to the collective cuts OPEC agreed on last month in Algeria.