Venezuela talks oil prices with Qatar, Oman; to meets Saudis

Venezuela's Oil Minister and President of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, Eulogio del Pino (C), attends a meeting with entrepreneurs and representatives of the productivity sector at Miraflores Palace in Caracas January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

DUBAI (Reuters) - Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, on a tour of oil producers to lobby for action to prop up prices, said on Thursday he had a “good and productive” meeting with his Qatari counterpart.

The Qatari ministry also said the two ministers “exchanged views and expectations in the short and long term”, but gave no further details. Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada is the current holder of the rotating OPEC presidency.

Del Pino later met Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy, who “reiterated his support of the actions Venezuela has taken to stabilize the market,” according to statements from the Oil Minister and state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], over which Del Pino presides.

Oman is a significant oil producer but it lacks the huge oil and financial reserves of its Gulf neighbors, and it is not an OPEC member.

The Venezuelan minister is scheduled to visit Riyadh for further negotiations. He is scheduled to meet Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi there on Sunday.

Cash-strapped OPEC member Venezuela has been calling for an emergency meeting of producers to discuss steps to prop up prices, which are close to their lowest since 2003.

On Wednesday, Iranian news agency Shana quoted Del Pino as saying six producing countries, including OPEC members Iran and Iraq and non-members Russia and Oman, supported a producer meeting.

But so far, none of OPEC’s Gulf members, including top exporter Saudi Arabia, has publicly backed a meeting.

Writing by Yara Bayoumy and Reem Shamseddine; Additional reporting by Alexandra Ulmer in Caracas; Editing by Sami Aboudi, Mark Potter and Andrew Hay