June OPEC meet to focus on dialogue, not market action – Kuwait

An earlier plan to agree on measures to stabilise soaring oil production failed during talks in Doha in April

OPEC member Kuwait does not expect any coordinated action to be decided during the group’s upcoming meeting in Vienna on June 2, the country’s acting oil minister said on Thursday.

The “focus of the meeting will be to think and look around … about what could be done further to stabilise the markets,” Anas al-Saleh, told Reuters in Tokyo, Japan, on the sidelines of a Kuwait-Japan business seminar.

An earlier plan to agree on measures to stabilise soaring oil production that pulled down crude prices by more than 70 per cent between mid-2014 and early 2016 failed during producer talks in Qatar’s capital Doha in April.

At the April meeting, OPEC rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran could not agree on deal terms, triggering criticism that the producers’ cartel had lost its ability to act.

At the next official meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), scheduled for June 2 in Austria’s capital Vienna, al-Saleh said the focus would be on dialog, not market intervention.

“The expectation is to have more dialogue between OPEC members, and then from that we will be able to determine what would be the proper action going forward,” he said.

Al-Saleh also said recent price increases from 12-year lows hit early in the year to around $47.50 per barrel for Brent crude futures were justified.

“Based on the decrease in production that has been shown in the last three weeks, I assume fundamentally the price represents the fall of production,” he said.

While OPEC members and Russia have kept output high in a fierce battle for market share, production in other regions including the Americas, Asia and Africa has fallen sharply, fast eroding a global supply overhang that reached as much as 2 million barrels per day last year.