OPEC Chief Said to Visit Iran and Qatar Before Group’s Talks

Iran May Support OPEC Output Freeze

OPEC’s secretary-general will visit members Iran and Qatar next month, just weeks before the group holds informal talks in Algeria, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Mohammed Barkindo, who became the organization’s chief diplomat this month, met earlier this week with Venezuelan Energy Minister Eulogio Del Pino, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the discussions were private. Del Pino, who has pushed the group to take action that would revive crude prices, has been touring oil-producing countries.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet in Algiers during an industry conference scheduled for Sept. 26 to 28. Oil prices have gained 13 percent in the past two weeks on speculation the group could revive an agreement to freeze production with non-members such as Russia, after a similar initiative collapsed in April.

Barkindo’s visits were earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.