Oil began the week on a slightly higher note after Venezuela said Opec countries and those outside the producers’ group were close to reaching a deal to stabilise global output.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday an agreement could be announced as early as this month, writes Anjli Raval.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 60 cents to $46.37 a barrel in early London trading.

Speaking at the end of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement on Margarita Island, Venezuela, where diplomats also met to discuss the oil market, he said a deal was imminent.

“We had a long bilateral meeting with [Iran’s president Hassan] Rohani. We’re close to a deal between Opec producer countries and non-Opec,” Mr Maduro told a news conference.

Venezuela, which is among the most economically fragile producer countries in the world, has been pushing for a deal to curb global oil production since oil prices began their protracted fall in mid-2014.

The persistent glut has battered its state-led economy and since oil dropped below $30 a barrel earlier this year it has renewed attempts for joint action. Venezuela has often said it was close to reaching agreement.

Mr Rohani, speaking on the sidelines of the same conference, said Tehran supports any move to stabilise the global oil market. “Instability and falling oil prices are harmful to all countries, especially oil producers,” Mr Rohani said according to Iran state news agency Shana.

But while he said Iran “welcomes any move aimed at market stability” he added any deal should be “fair”. Iran has been boosting output to pre-sanctions levels and has refused to join any previous joint efforts saying it would not curb its production until it regained its lost market share.

An attempt in April to freeze production failed after Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia said it would not curb its output should regional rival Iran not take part.

Opec’s secretary general Mohammed Barkindo this weekend sought to manage expectations about any production deal among the world’s biggest producers.

He said while he was optimistic about the meeting on September 26-28 on the sidelines of an industry conference in Algiers, any discussions will be consultations with no major decisions made.

A separate extraordinary meeting of members would take place should a consensus emerge.

“The informal gathering was proposed as a move to having an extraordinary meeting with the aim of taking decisions to stabilise the market,” Mr Barkindo said.

 



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