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OPEC Discusses Delaying Key Meeting To July 11-12

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Just a week before OPEC and allies were set to meet in Vienna to discuss the fate of the production cut deal expiring in less than two weeks, participants are still debating when to hold the crucial talks, with OPEC discussing a proposal to delay the meeting to July 11 and 12, S&P Global Platts reported on Tuesday, citing two sources.  

While OPEC and Russia have been busy trying to assure the markets that they would be working toward a solution to rebalance the oil market, reports started to emerge in the past few weeks that the parties can’t even agree on whether to hold the meeting as scheduled on June 25-26 or to push it into July.

Reports have it that Russia has requested a delay of the June meeting into early July so that it would be held after the G20 summit in late June, while Iran, which is at odds with the Gulf Arab members of OPEC, has reportedly told the cartel that it wouldn’t agree to a postponement of the key meeting.

Khalid al-Falih, the energy minister of OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, reiterated on Sunday his hope that the cartel would reach a deal to extend the cuts into the second half of the year at a meeting that will probably be held in the first week of July.

Related: OPEC Aims For $60-$70 Oil

The latest rumored meeting slot—July 11 and 12—would be a week later than what the Saudis hinted two days ago, but it would be okay for Iran, whose Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Monday that the Islamic Republic “would confirm rescheduling of the upcoming OPEC meeting only if it was to be held on July 10, 11 or 12 from originally June 25.”

Zangeneh doesn’t want the date changed to July 3-4, as Russia had reportedly originally requested, because of scheduling conflicts.

According to an OPEC delegate who spoke to Bloomberg, the cartel proposed the July 10-12 dates to its members and would wait for their replies.

Judging from the comments of various OPEC and non-OPEC officials and ministers and from reports from sources, the OPEC+ group won’t make a decision about the production cuts by the time those cuts expire at the end of June.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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