Iran's Oil Minister said Wednesday that OPEC and non-OPEC members should first agree on basic production rates for each producer country before Thursday's meeting, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
Bijan Namdar Zanganeh's remarks came a day before the teleconference between oil producing member countries of OPEC+ to discuss the low price environment and the supply-demand balance in the global oil market.
In a Twitter post, he said he held phone talks on Tuesday with oil ministers of three OPEC and non-OPEC members - Algeria, Russia and Kuwait.
“Before holding any meeting with OPEC and non-OPEC member countries, it is necessary to agree on the basic production rates of each country, which is necessarily the basis for reducing production,” added Zanganeh.
He said this move aims to restore oil market stability before decisions are made at the next meeting between OPEC members and other oil producers.
Zanganeh also emphasized that producers from other countries, including the U.S. and Canada, should also be involved in the OPEC+ negotiations.
Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), weak economic activity around the world has lowered global oil demand, increasing the glut of supply in the market.
Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-spearheaded non-OPEC failed on March 6 to lower their collective output, causing a massive plummet in prices, which fell on March 30 to their lowest level since 2002.
On Thursday, the OPEC+ group is expected to lower their collective oil production level by between 10-15 million barrels per day in order to trim some of the oversupply.
By Sibel Morrow