CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said on Friday the country is on the right track to clinch action by oil producers to prop up depressed energy prices, though he did not provide details.
“We’re on a very, very, very good path,” said Del Pino, who recently visited Russia and Saudi Arabia as part of a global tour to drum up support with OPEC and non-OPEC producers.
“When announcements must be made what we’ve suggested is that they be made together,” he told state media, declining to elaborate on specifics about potential meetings or countries involved.
Del Pino, who is also president of state oil company PDVSA, proposed a production “freeze” at current levels during the tour of producing countries this month, sources familiar with the discussions say, in an attempt to tackle the global glut without cutting supply.
While the idea was met with openness by Saudi Arabia, talks are still at an early stage and Riyadh will not commit unless Tehran agrees to restrict supplies, one source said.
U.S. crude prices jumped more than 10 percent on Friday after a report once again suggested OPEC might resort to a production cut to reduce the world glut, and resilient stock markets added to the risk appetite in oil.
The United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was willing to cooperate on an output cut, the Wall Street Journal reported. He also said cheap oil was forcing supply reductions that would help rebalance the market.
The drop in oil prices has worsened a brutal recession in Venezuela, which depends on oil for over 90 percent of its export revenue.
Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama