Venezuela's Maduro says oil producers close to output cap deal

BAKU/DUBAI (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was quoted on Saturday as saying that OPEC and non-OPEC nations were “very close” to an agreement on oil production curbs, Azerbaijan’s state news agency Azertag reported.

An oil pump is seen in Lagunillas, Venezuela, August 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jesus Contreras

“Today with (Azeri) President Ilham Aliyev we talked about reaching agreements between OPEC and countries that are not members of the cartel. We are very close to reaching agreements and signing a relevant deal,” Azertag quoted Maduro as saying in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city.

“I believe that the relevant agreement will be reached within a very short time and we will announce it. This will pave the way for a new era of stability and investments, stable output and new oil price formula,” he said.

Maduro later visited Iran and discussed issues including the oil market with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Ayatollah Khamenei told Maduro that a fall in oil prices was a “tool for pressuring countries that are independent of the United States”, the Islamic republic’s arch-enemy, Iranian state media reported.

“Through wise policies and increased cooperation, it is possible to defeat such plots and enmity,” state broadcaster IRIB quoted Khamenei as saying.

Rouhani told Maduro that “Iran supports any action in line with the stability of the oil market, a fair price and a fair share (of production),” IRIB reported on its website.

Maduro visited Azerbaijan and Iran as part of an international trip that also includes visits to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and is aimed at pushing a deal to stabilize oil markets.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed in Algiers on Sept. 28 to reduce production to a range of 32.5 million to 33.0 million barrels per day, which would be its first output cut since 2008. Another meeting on Nov. 30 is set to firm up details of the accord.

Azertag also quoted Aliyev as saying Azerbaijan would not increase oil production and exports, reinforcing the statement he made last week.

Reporting by Nailia Bagirova and Dubai newsroom; Writing by Maria Kiselyova in Moscow; Editing by Adrian Croft