Ecuador hopes OPEC will reach agreement in Algeria, warns of risks

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa (L) gestures as he arrives for a family photo during the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Porlamar, Venezuela September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday he hopes OPEC countries will reach an agreement to stabilize the oil market at the upcoming meeting in Algeria, warning of “serious risks” for the group if they do reach a deal.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hold an informal meeting in Algeria from Sept 26 to 28.

“It is a meeting being held for other reasons, but all the OPEC members will be there, so we hope to have other informal meetings and reach agreements to stabilize the oil market,” Correa said in his weekly televised broadcast.

“Otherwise the consequences could be very serious, it could lead to a disintegration of OPEC itself ... There is even a risk that internal disputes within OPEC could lead prices to plummet again.”

Ecuador supports the position of ideological ally Venezuela that major oil producers should freeze production levels to limit excess supply and support prices.

The idea has received some support among oil producers.

But oil prices slumped on Friday on signs that OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran were struggling to reach a preliminary consensus in the run-up to the Algeria talks. [L3N1BZ16Q]

The smallest member of OPEC has struggled under low oil prices. The government has been forced to seek new sources of financing and reduce public investment.

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia, writing by Brian Ellsworth