Opec members are set to meet again to discuss oil prices

Major Oil producers in the Opec group of countries announced that they are planning to make another effort this week to contrary a collapse in crude prices.

Algeria’s energy minister, Noureddine Bouterfa said in a statement that, there would be an informal gathering of Opec members on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algiers on Wednesday.

He said, our major agenda will be an oil output cut or may be freeze. “We will not come out of the meeting empty-handed,” the minister added.

Crude prices slumped from highs of more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to near 13-year lows below $30 in January. On the last close oil price was $44.48 a barrel.

Recent fall has been triggering concerns for countries which depend heavily on revenues from exports.

Furthermore Opec’s 14 members, which yield about a third of the world’s oil, have so far failed to an agreement to cut production that would raise prices.

Meanwhile Mr Bouterfa said the state of the oil market was worst than when Opec last met three months ago.

Most remarkably, Saudi Arabia, the major Opec member and which has battled production curbs, may now be more willing to cut output, he added.

Even though Wednesday’s sitting is an informal gathering, but Mr Bouterfa said it can turn out to become a more formal event.

He said: “Either we reach an agreement, which would be good, or we reach an understanding on the elements of an agreement, and that would also be good.

“Every state in the organisation agrees on the need to stabilise prices, it just remains for us to find a format that pleases everyone. The best solution would be a (production) freeze.”

Mr Bouterfa further said Opec members are losing between $300m and $500m a day and “No (oil) company will be able to withstand it if prices remain under $50 a barrel,” he added.

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