Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has spoken of the possibility of OPEC oil producers and their non-OPEC partners not reaching a deal over whether to cut oil production this week.
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Asked how real the risk a “no deal” scenario at the meeting on Thursday, which comes amid another slump in oil prices, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble: “It’s real.”
Oil prices dropped 4.7 percent Thursday after Al-Falih signaled that the 15-member oil producing group could cut less than expected. Al-Falih said earlier that a cut of 1 million barrels per day would be enough for OPEC and its allied oil producers. Markets had factored in a cut of around 1.2 million to 1.4 million barrels per day.
As OPEC’s de-facto leader, Saudi Arabia is under pressure to take a lead on stabilizing oil markets but it looked somewhat isolated at the Thursday meeting with non-OPEC partner Russia looking reluctant to agree to a cut. Iran’s oil minister also told CNBC that Iran, which is already laboring under U.S. sanctions, will not cut anything.
“We will not cut anything because of the sanctions,” Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told CNBC Thursday.
“During the sanction period of time we are not ready to cut our production, but Iran supports any decision made by OPEC members to manage the market, but during the period of sanctions it’s not fair (that we) reduce more,” he added.