OPEC, Russia expand diplomatic push to secure oil-cuts deal

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) embarked on a final diplomatic effort to secure an oil-cuts deal, with its top official heading on a tour of member states as Russia scheduled informal talks in Doha this week with nations including Saudi Arabia. The behind-the-scenes diplomacy follows an unannounced meeting in London between OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo and Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry Khalid Al-Falih, said one OPEC delegate. Just two weeks before the group’s November 30 ministerial meeting in Vienna, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran are still at odds over how to share output cuts, said another delegate. OPEC has yet to find a path to finalise the preliminary cuts deal reached in Algiers on September 28, which ended a two-year policy of pumping without limits. Oil prices rallied to nearly $54 a barrel in October after the outline of the deal was announced, but as of last week had lost all their gains as doubts over the deal grew again. Prices recovered more than 5 per cent Tuesday to near $47 after Bloomberg reported the renewed diplomatic push. OPEC countries are “all hands on deck to meet this target date of November 30 and to implement in full the agreement,” Barkindo said Tuesday in an interview at a climate conference in Morocco. (Javier Blas, Angelina Rascouet and Grant Smith/Bloomberg)

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