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OPEC to invite Russia to key oil meeting

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
OPEC says it plans to invite Russia and other key non-member oil producers to a technical meeting later this month to discuss efforts needed to stabilize prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says it is going to invite Russia and other key non-member producer states to a meeting later this month to discuss ways to help boost oil prices from the current lows. 

The announcement followed a meeting in Istanbul earlier this week between several top OPEC energy ministers with their Russian counterpart Alexander Novak to discuss a production curb plan that has been proposed by Saudi Arabia and is yet to be approved by the Organization and other producers.

"We agreed to have a technical meeting of OPEC... on 28-29 of this month (October). An invitation is going to be sent to some key non-OPEC countries," Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada said after the talks.

"This meeting is meant to give a better understanding of the best way of how to move towards the rebalancing of the market to the interest of all," AFP quoted the Qatari minister as saying.

Other than Russia, he did not elaborate on what other non-OPEC countries were being invited to the meeting but indicated he wanted a wide turnout, AFP added.

"We have a list of non-OPEC countries and we are yet to refine it further. We intend to expand it get the feelings of as many non-OPEC countries as possible."

He gave no indication however the meeting would be attended by the United States, the world's number three oil producer.

"The US attending is something we cannot assure you of," he said.

On 28 September, OPEC agreed to curb production by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd).

However, the Organization announced that Iran – which is its third largest producer – would be excluded from the plan because of its exceptional situation of having been under sanctions for a number of years.

Since the removal of nuclear-related sanctions that mainly targeted its oil industry earlier this year, Iran has been boosting production in order to reach previous levels and has been rejecting calls on the country to freeze production as unfair.

OPEC is yet to decide how much each country will produce in its next meeting slated for the end of November.     

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