OPEC reopens talks on oil cuts without Iran, Iraq ministers

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia will meet in Doha on Thursday for another round of talks without ministers from Iran and Iraq, the two countries that pose the biggest obstacle to a deal to cut production. Members of the OPEC are “all hands on deck” to reach an agreement by the group’s November 30 meeting in Vienna, Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said in an interview in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran remain at odds over how to share output cuts, said an OPEC delegate, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The latest round of diplomacy reflects OPEC’s struggle to finalise the deal reached in Algiers on September 28, which would end a two-year policy of pumping without limits. More than 18 hours of talks last month in Vienna failed to overcome internal disagreements, which in turn prevented a wider pact with non-OPEC producers. Without an accord, the International Energy Agency predicted a fourth consecutive year of oversupply in 2017. Brent crude rallied to a one-year high following the announcement of OPEC’s preliminary accord to reduce production, but has since fallen back as doubts over the deal grow. The international benchmark rose 5.7 per cent to $46.95 a barrel Tuesday, the biggest gain since the surprise agreement in Algiers, as the fresh talks prompted speculation the group can overcome its differences. (Nayla Razzouk, Khalid Al-Ansary and Stephen Bierman/Bloomberg)

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