RIYADH (Reuters) - OPEC has no plans to hold an emergency meeting before its next scheduled gathering in June, two of the organization’s delegates said on Tuesday.
Nigerian Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke told the Financial Times in comments published on Monday that she would call an emergency meeting if oil prices fell any further.
“There are no concrete actions going on to organize any emergency meeting of OPEC countries,” said one of the delegates, who declined to be identified.
Nigeria, set to hold elections in less than six weeks, is current holder of the rotating presidency of OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The president is responsible for liaising with OPEC members and its secretary-general on the need for an emergency meeting.
“Given that the presidential elections in Nigeria have been pushed from Feb. 14 by six weeks, it is difficult not to discount the statement as playing to the domestic audience,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix.
Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed the Feb. 14 presidential election until March 28 due to security concerns.
Oil prices collapsed in 2014 in a decline that continued after OPEC refused to cut production in a bid to defend market share at its last meeting in November, despite misgivings from non-Gulf countries such as Iran and Venezuela.
Since then, lobbying by Iran for an OPEC cut and a diplomatic tour by Venezuela’s president has failed to soften the stance of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf members, who can live with relatively low oil prices.
Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler in London; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans