OPEC States Push for Output Cuts in Face of Saudi Opposition

03-Dec-2015

Cash-strapped OPEC nations from Venezuela to Iran are piling pressure on Saudi Arabia to reduce oil output, yet the group’s biggest producer remains opposed to a cut unless countries outside the organization join the effort.

A year after Saudi Arabia spearheaded OPEC’s decision to maintain production amid slumping prices, the group is grappling with crude near a six-year low as supply swamps demand. Venezuela and Ecuador want OPEC to agree to output curbs on Friday when members meet in Vienna, while Iran says the group must cut to accommodate an increase in its own output next year.

The strengthening protest against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production policy contrasts with the mild criticism from members at the group’s last summit in June. This time, the continued decline in prices has prompted less-wealthy states to clamor for change, with officials from Venezuela meeting with Ecuador, Algeria, Iraq and Iran on Thursday to rally support for cuts.

The OPEC member countries have lost so much money,” Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said after arriving in the Austrian capital. “It doesn’t seem that we can change the situation in the short term, it needs a long-term strategy." (by Javier Blas & Nayla Razzouk  & Wael Mahdi, Bloomberg)