LONDON (Reuters) - Iran’s oil minister met his Russian counterpart in Iran on Monday, industry sources said, raising hopes of progress in resolving an impasse over when OPEC and its allies will hold their next policy gathering.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been considering since last month moving the date of their policy meeting in Vienna to July 3-4 from June 25-26.
Russia’s Alexander Novak favors postponing the meeting to early July to avoid clashing with G20 discussions in Japan in late June, while the Iranian minister, Bijan Zanganeh, wants to keep the original schedule, sources have said.
After the meeting, Zanganeh said he told Novak he still disagreed with the early July dates but could attend if the dates were shifted to July 10-12, the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported.
For that to happen, more consultation will be needed as the entire OPEC+ coalition would have to be asked and then agree to those dates, an industry source said.
The ministers also discussed cooperation with framework OPEC deals during the talks, Russia’s energy ministry said in a statement after the meeting.
OPEC and its allies have been reducing oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day since Jan. 1 to support the market. The meeting is to decide whether to extend or adjust the pact.
Algeria has floated an idea of increasing the size of the supply cut in the second half of 2019 as demand falters, OPEC sources said last week, although rolling over the current output curbs is still the most likely scenario.
Reporting by Alex Lawler, Bozorgmehr Sharafedine and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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