Saudi oil minister meets Venezuelan official

Venezuela has been the most vocal of the OPEC countries about the slump in oil prices since June.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi.
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister met with the Venezuelan foreign minister and OPEC representative on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Kingdom’s top oil official Ali al-Naimi and his Venezuelan counterpart Rafael Ramirez met on the sidelines of a climate conference on the Venezuelan resort island of Margarita.

The meeting came a day after the oil prices saw a 25% slump since June ad was seen by experts as a sign for the rising pressure on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The South American country is heavily reliant on oil revenue and had recently called on other OPEC members to take action against the falling oil prices.

There has also been calls on the Gulf members support prices by cutting production but the GCC states led by Saudi Arabia have so far shown reluctance to do so.

In what has been seen as a move to maintain its market share for exports to the US, Saudi Arabia lowered the price for crude exports to the United States earlier this week.

“It was an excellent meeting and we have excellent relations as ministers and as countries,” said Ramirez, who until recently was head of state energy giant Petróleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA.

Asked if he was concerned by the fall in oil prices, Mr. Ramirez responded, “It worries us all.”

Mr. al-Naimi had long planned to attend the Venezuela conference, but the meeting with Mr. Ramirez was added to his agenda only recently, according to people familiar with the situation.

“The message is going to be clear, and will be repeated again in the OPEC meeting: Saudi Arabia is not going to act as swing producer,” an official said.

“Al-Naimi is going to explain to Ramirez that not much can be done at the moment and it is a cycle the market is going through,” another Saudi official commented.
OPEC members are expected to meet in Vienna on 27th of November to discuss the prices of oil.

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