WEC 2016: Iraq and Iran will not attend meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC countries

WEC 2016: Iraq and Iran will not attend meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC countries

Serena Sabino
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Following the agreement painstakingly reached in Algiers, oil diplomacy will continue to weave its way through bilateral talks on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress, but the ministers of the two energy giants will not be present

The oil ministers of Iran and Iraq will not participate in the informal talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers planned to take place on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress, which opened last night in Turkey. This was reported by the Reuters agency, quoting informed sources. Announcing, last week, the presence of the ministers of the two oil giants was Russia’s energy minister. The meetings in Istanbul follow the informal summit held in Algiers on September 28, during which the OPEC countries signed a historic agreement, the first of its kind in the last eight years, to place a ceiling on oil production. The cartel will now try to secure the collaboration of the major non-OPEC producers, such as Russia, to support the prices of black gold.

The Algiers Agreement

The Iran and Iraq #oil ministers of #oil won't participate in the talks between #OPEC and non-OPEC producers scheduled during #WEC2016

The agreement painstakingly reached in the Algerian capital provides for a reduction in global output of approximately 700,000 barrels per day: from the current 33.2 million to approximately 32.5 million barrels per day. However, the thorniest issue still remains, that is, how much each member country will have to cut their production. This decision was in fact postponed to the official OPEC meeting scheduled for November 30, 2016. Only then will it become known whether the stalemate, caused primarily by the historic rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has actually been overcome and only then will the cut in production by 700,000 barrels per day become effective.

The meeting in Istanbul

No official decision will therefore come out of Istanbul, but oil diplomacy will continue to weave its way to reach, at the end of next month, a formal agreement on the amounts of each member country that still does not appear at all obvious. It is likely that the representative of the OPEC and non-OPEC producers will not sit around a single table, but will discuss amongst themselves in a series of bilateral meetings. Expected in the Turkish capital, among others, are the ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Venezuela and Qatar, who is also the current president of OPEC. It is too early to say what the absence of the ministers of two of the main producing countries such as Iraq and Iran from Istanbul will mean and, especially, how heavily this absence will weigh on reaching an official agreement on the amounts to be cut.

The agreement between OPEC countries painstakingly reached in Algiers provides for a reduction in global output of approximately 700,000 barrels per day: from the current 33.2 million to approximately 32.5 million barrels per day

The face to face between Russia and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih announced that in the following days he will meet during the WEC his Russia counterpart, Alexander Novak, to discuss Moscow’s moves following the Algiers agreement. Russia has already announced that it plans to establish the timing for the production freeze according to macroeconomic indicators and OPEC’s actual intention to reduce it’s crude oil output. Moscow is among the firmest supporters for an agreement un production cuts, the Russians have also, however, increased production by opening new oil wells.