MOSCOW — Russia’s energy ministry on Tuesday said it was making plans for a possible meeting with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in October, as the sector grapples with lower crude prices due to a global supply glut.
“We plan for this meeting to be held in October in Vienna,” said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in a statement sent out shortly after a ministry delegation visited OPEC headquarters.
The announcement came as energy stocks ticked up Tuesday on an interview with Novak in a Saudi Arabic daily that hinted at a possible production freeze by Russia, which is not an OPEC member, in cooperation with the 14-nation oil organization.
The ministry said Russia’s delegation to OPEC “exchanged views on the current situation on the oil markets and the prognoses for its development,” as prices held above $45 a barrel early Tuesday.
On Aug. 8, Novak said the “preconditions have not yet been set” for a price freeze but that a necessity for it may come about if prices begin to slide.
OPEC members are set to hold an informal meeting on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from Sept. 26- 28.
Oil prices rose Tuesday extending the previous session’s gains, as markets assess the likelihood of producers reaching a deal to limit output.
Around 1230 GMT, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October was up 33 cents at $48.68 a barrel.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery gained 28 cents to $46.02 compared with Monday’s close.
Traders are speculating on whether Saudi Arabia and other major oil producing nations will reach an agreement at a meeting next month to tackle a supply glut.
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as non-members are expected to meet informally in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid Al-Falih has hinted that producers could discuss actions to stabilize prices.
Angus Nicholson, a strategist at IG Markets, added Tuesday: “The chances of a deal actually occurring at next month’s OPEC meeting are minimal”, following previous failed attempts earlier this year.
Prior to the recent price rally, oil entered a “bear” market at the start of the month on oversupply concerns, falling more than 20 percent and closing below $40 a barrel for the first time since April.