Saudi Arabia, Iran diverge over impending informal OPEC meeting in Algiers

Added On September 28, 2016

 Saudi Arabia and Iran seemed to diverge over the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) informal meeting due on Wednesday, making less possible an oil output freezing deal by then.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Fatih said his country would be committed to supporting any agreement between OPEC members as he spoke to reporters Tuesday on the margins of the 15th International Energy Forum in Algiers.

He further avoided the question whether his country would accept to freeze or reduce oil output to help boosting the global market.

Instead, he expressed optimism about the possibility that the informal meeting of OPEC in Algeria would reach "a positive agreement."

Meanwhile, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters that his country is not in favor of a formal decision by OPEC to freeze oil outputs.

He said Iran would prefer the informal meeting of the cartel's members to be limited on consultations, while a final decision should be made during a formal OPEC meeting in Vienna due in November.

Algeria has been calling upon Iran and Saudi Arabia to reduce their oil outputs in order to restore balance to the fluctuating market.

The Iranian minister added that his country is seeking to produce four million barrels per day in the short term to regain its 13 percent share within OPEC.

Iran's current production reportedly stays at 3.6 million barrels per day.

Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa said the informal meeting of OPEC would be a major opportunity to overcome differences between OPEC and non-OPEC members in ultimately reaching a decision to stabilize the market.