The final preparatory gathering of officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries before the ministerial meeting on June 2 didn’t discuss any limits on crude output, the latest signal that the group will stick to its current strategy of letting low prices eradicate a supply glut.
Discussions at the Economic Commission Board in Vienna, at which representatives of OPEC members review the market, focused on technical matters, said two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. Officials at the meeting concurred with OPEC’s most recent research report that supply and demand will start rebalancing in the second half of the year.
Oil prices have rebounded more than 75 percent from the 12-year low reached in January as U.S. shale production falters, signaling that Saudi Arabia’s strategy to re-balance oversupplied world markets by squeezing high cost production is taking effect. After the group abandoned its production target in December, and failed to reach an accord with non-members to freeze oil supply last month, all but one of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said OPEC won’t set an output target at its next meeting.
The meeting in Vienna also didn’t discuss potential candidates to replace Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri, whose term expires in July, said two people familiar with the matter.