Venezuela, Iran ministers visit OPEC nations to defend oil prices

Venezuela’s and Iran’s oil ministers have embarked on a tour of fellow members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, seeking to build a consensus to defend oil prices ahead of a meeting of the group on Nov 27.

The shuttle diplomacy—rare ahead of OPEC meetings—underscores mounting concerns over falling oil prices within the group, which has, in turn, prompted a debate over whether the group should cut its collective production. Brent crude oil fell through the $80-a-barrel mark on Wednesday and dropped further, to around $78 a barrel, on Thursday.

Venezuela’s foreign minister Rafael Ramirez, whose country supports an OPEC output reduction, said he discussed “our position to defend oil prices” during a meeting with Algeria’s energy minister Youcef Yousfi in Algiers on Wednesday. The conversation ended with “a convergence of views,” Mr. Ramirez was quoted as saying by Algerian official agency APS, without further elaboration.

Mr. Ramirez on Thursday met Qatari officials in Doha and is next set to travel to Iran, Venezuela’s foreign ministry website said, adding that Caracas is seeking to correct imbalances in OPEC and the broader oil markets.

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