Oil Producers Seen by Qatar as Studying Request for OPEC Summit

  • Venezuela seeks producer meeting to halt slide in oil prices
  • Non-OPEC states will also respond, Qatar's oil minister says

OPEC members and other oil-producing nations will respond to a request by Venezuela that the supplier group meet to try to stabilize crude prices, Qatar’s Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed Al Sada said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has come under pressure from some of its 12 members since deciding last November not to reduce output. Brent crude has dropped more than 50 percent in the last year amid a surplus in global supply. Venezuela has proposed that OPEC hold a session to arrest the slide and wants to invite non-OPEC producers such as Russia.

“Different countries are studying this proposal and there will be a response from OPEC, and from outside of OPEC,” Al Sada told reporters Thursday in Doha, without elaborating on the possible timing of such a response. He spoke in the Qatari capital after a meeting of oil ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council, a grouping of six oil-rich Arab monarchies.

Four GCC states -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar -- are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil. The GCC also includes Oman and Bahrain. Most Gulf countries face a greater risk of budget deficits this year due to faltering crude prices. Brent, a global benchmark, was 36 cents higher at $47.94 a barrel in London at 4:03 p.m. local time after losing $1.94 in Wednesday trading.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, whose country is OPEC’s biggest and most influential member, declined to comment in Doha on the crude market or prices. The earlier remarks by Qatar’s Al Sada were “enough,” he told reporters as he left the GCC meeting.

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