The oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are set to meet in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Thursday for its 169th session, with sources telling Sputnik that oil production freeze and electing a new leader are priority issues on the event’s agenda.
VIENNA (Sputnik) — OPEC and major non-OPEC oil producers met in April in the Qatari capital of Doha where they failed to agree on freezing oil output at January levels to shore up prices. Saudi Arabia backed out of the deal, insisting that Iran, which has been boosting oil production after years of international sanctions, should be part of any production cuts.
“The first [issue] is the situation on the oil market, after the meeting in Doha the organization has to make a decision how to react to the unfolding situation on the oil market and fluctuations in crude prices… Regarding the issue of freezing the oil prices, all options are on the agenda and will be discussed,” a source in one of the delegations told Sputnik ahead of the event.
According to the source, the other issue will be the election of the new chief of the organization to replace Abdalla Salem Badri, who was set to retire since 2013 but had stayed on because the cartel was not able to agree on a new leader.
“Currently there are several candidates for this post, firstly Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. These countries have been on the list for elections in previous years. Speaking of the latest [candidates], those are Indonesia, Nigeria and Venezuela,” the source explained.
During the cartel’s 168th session that took place last December in Vienna, the sides discussed Iran’s return to the global oil market, as well as welcomed Indonesia back into the organization after it suspended its membership in 2009.