Algeria Backs Venezuela on OPEC, Non-OPEC Summit to Boost Prices

  • Algeria wants higher oil price to ensure stable future supply
  • OPEC, Non-OPEC summit will only be held if success guaranteed

Algeria supports Venezuela’s call for a summit among heads of state from OPEC and other oil-exporting nations in a bid to lift crude prices, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said. 

”Algeria has always been a pioneer when it comes to strengthening solidarity between producing countries,” Lamamra said Monday in an interview in Paris after meeting President Francois Hollande. “We would only convene a summit if its success is guaranteed; meetings at the level of ministers and experts will therefore precede such an event.”

Ramtane Lamamra in Paris
Ramtane Lamamra in Paris
Photographer: Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuela has proposed that heads of state from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers meet in November to discuss the price needed to sustain investments in future supplies, the country’s Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino said on Oct. 21. Speaking in Vienna during a meeting of experts from OPEC and from outside the group, del Pino said Venezuela seeks to set an “equilibrium price” of about $88 a barrel.

Brent Crude

Algeria and Venezuela are among the OPEC states most affected by the 44 percent slump in oil over the past year. Saudi Arabia led the group to switch its strategy in November 2014 to focus on battering competitors such as U.S. shale producers and reclaiming market share. Brent crude, a global benchmark, breached $115 a barrel in June 2014 before tumbling and was 25 cents lower at $47.74 in London at 3:16 p.m. local time.

“The current price is not satisfactory,” Algeria’s Lamamra said. “Going back to the very high price of before would be an illusion and not realistic; there could be satisfactory solutions for everybody between the two” levels, he said.

Venezuela proposed a summit after the failure of its repeated efforts with Algeria to broker an agreement between the 12 members of OPEC and other oil producers to reduce supply to boost prices. Global markets will remain oversupplied next year amid slower demand growth and a potential recovery in Iranian exports once economic sanctions are removed, the International Energy Agency said two weeks ago.

OPEC’s plan to choke off growth in supply outside the group appears to be working. U.S. crude production has retreated about 500,000 barrels a day from the three-decade peak reached in June to 9.1 million a day in the week to Oct. 9, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. OPEC ministers are due to review policy on Dec. 4 in Vienna.

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