Saudi Arabia courts Russia in Istanbul OPEC mingle

Saudi Arabia courts Russia in Istanbul OPEC mingle
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih talks during the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he will not attend the informal Wednesday OPEC meetings in Istanbul, but confirmed he did meet privately with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

  • Khalid al-Falih: Tomorrow's meeting is a very informal consultative meeting between the countries that happened to be here.”
  • "Unfortunately due to prior commitments I am leaving now so I will not be in the meeting but I will be following it from afar and I will be getting indications about what countries have agreed to.”
  • "From the meetings I have had on the sidelines of this conference today and yesterday ... it is quite clear that many countries are not only supportive of the OPEC decision in Algiers but are enthusiastically willing to join.”
  • "We are not talking about support, we are talking about contribution in the direction we are seeking which is basically that we are going to attempt to speed up the balancing process that is already underway."
  • OPEC officials are nailing down details on the Algiers output cap deal reached in September.
  • Khalid al-Falih met with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Istanbul, described the energy conference as a "great step forward”.
  • Khalid al-Falih said output freeze was not about oil price, but about attracting new investments to oil industry.

(ISTANBUL, TURKEY) Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih will not attend meetings on Wednesday between OPEC and non-OPEC countries in Istanbul but told Reuters he saw signs that countries outside OPEC were willing to contribute to balancing the oil market.

"Tomorrow's meeting is a very informal consultative meeting between the countries that happened to be here," Falih told Reuters at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

"Unfortunately due to prior commitments I am leaving now so I will not be in the meeting but I will be following it from afar and I will be getting indications about what countries have agreed to," he said.

OPEC officials are embarking on a flurry of meetings to nail down details of an agreement reached in Algiers last month on modest oil output cuts, the first such deal since 2008.

Falih said he had met with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Istanbul, and described the energy conference in the Turkish city as a "great step forward".

"From the meetings I have had on the sidelines of this conference today and yesterday ... it is quite clear that many countries are not only supportive of the OPEC decision in Algiers but are enthusiastically willing to join," he said.

"We are not talking about support, we are talking about contribution in the direction we are seeking which is basically that we are going to attempt to speed up the balancing process that is already underway."

Falih said those efforts were not about the oil price itself, but about sending a signal to the oil industry to start investing again.

This article was contributed by Reuters

Please contact TRUNEWS correspondent Edward Szall with any news tips related to this story.
Email: Edward.Szall@trunews.com | Twitter: @EdwardSzall | Facebook: Ed Szall 
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