OPEC+ holds ‘informal teleconference’ to discuss price slump

The logo of OPEC is pictured at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna. (File photo: AFP)

The OPEC alliance of oil producers said "several" member states, and some of its allies in the OPEC+ grouping, held a teleconference on Tuesday to discuss the plunge in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation tweeted that ministers held an “informal teleconference to brainstorm the current dramatic oil market situation” but it was not clear whether Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer, took part.

A photo tweeted by the organization appeared to show representatives from countries including Nigeria, Iraq and Venezuela taking part but there was no confirmation of which countries joined the meeting.

Read more: US oil price crash a warning signal for Middle East producers: Experts

OPEC said the teleconference was held at the initiative of Mohamed Arkab, energy minister of Algeria, which currently holds OPEC's presidency.

OPEC's powerful Gulf oil producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as well as non-OPEC Russia are not taking part in a conference call held by some OPEC+ members on Tuesday evening, two OPEC sources told Reuters.

A spokeswoman for Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia–viewed as the leader of the OPEC+ grouping–did not take part.

Novak said in a statement on Tuesday that there was no need to "dramatise" the current market situation.

Read more: Algeria on edge as coronavirus fallout dries up oil revenues

"OPEC+ countries are carefully monitoring the situation and have all means to react, if need be," Novak said.

OPEC said the ministers participating in the teleconference restated their “commitment to the oil production adjustment” agreed earlier this month which involves a cut of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from May in an attempt to stop prices plummeting.

Producers outside the alliance pledged to cut an additional 3.7 million bpd.

Read more: Trump tells energy, treasury secretaries to make funds available for US oil industry

The pandemic has crippled global energy demand and worsened a supply glut, leading US crude futures to go below zero for the first time on Monday.

OPEC said ministers were prepared “to continue holding such consultations on the market situation on regular basis".

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Last Update: Wednesday, 22 April 2020 KSA 07:44 - GMT 04:44
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