OPEC and its allied producers, with Russia in the lead, are meeting today in Vienna with the intention of agreeing to cut their oil offer to curb the sustained downward trend in oil prices in recent weeks.
The meeting comes after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ended a six-hour session of its 175th ministerial conference without sanctioning, as expected in the markets, a limitation of the pumping of its member countries.
The Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, explained to the press that among the partners there would be a basic consensus to reduce production by one million barrels per day (mbd), but only if Russia and other non-member producers do not. They were present on Thursday, they participate in the commitment.
"We continue to deliberate," the minister said, after explaining that the final decision, which was thus postponed from yesterday to today, also requires an agreement to establish how much each country should lower.
Oil prices on Thursday reacted to the disappointing result of the Viennese deliberations with sharp declines.
The barrel of the intermediate oil of Texas (WTI) ended the session in New York at $ 51.49, 2.7% less than at the end of Wednesday, while that of Brent fell in London by 2.5% and remained in 60.12 dollars.
The bearish trend was also fueled by the skepticism expressed by Al-Falih regarding the likelihood that producers will overcome their differences to give the green light to the cut.
"No, I do not trust," he answered a question about it.
The meeting is marked by the sharp fall of "petroprecios" in the last two months, around 30%, and the risk that excessive supply will cause an even lower price.
The fear of the producers is that a situation similar to that of 2014-2016 will occur, when a market flooded with crude oil triggered the collapse of the value of the barrel by around 80%.
It was precisely this situation that led to the forging of the OPEC alliance with several of its hitherto rivals, which, nicknamed today OPEP +, agreed to an agreement to withdraw 1.8 mbd from the market that remains in force until the next day 31.
It is expected that the fifteen members of the organization reopen the conference this morning to try to bring their positions closer, before the meeting with their nine allies, scheduled around noon.