Saudi, Iranian comments dim prospects for deal
ALGIERS, September 27, 2016 – Comments made by Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mines Khalid al Falih and his Iranian counterpart, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, in Algiers on Tuesday have diminished expectations that OPEC producers will reach a deal on freezing production.
Speaking to reporters, Al Falih said the gathering in Algeria was a “consultative meeting.” “We will consult with everyone else, we will hear the views, we will hear the secretariat of OPEC and also hear from consumers,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Al Falih reiterated Saudi Arabia’s stance that the global oil market was on track to rebalancing, albeit slower than expected. “The market is trending in the right direction, slower than what we had hoped for a few months ago but the fundamentals are moving in the right direction.”
His sentiments where echoed by Zangeneh, who said that Iran had no intention to freeze production. “It’s not our agenda to reach agreement in these two days,” the minister said. “We are here for the IEF [International Energy Forum] and to have a consultative informal meeting in OPEC to exchange views. Not more.”