OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose rivalry derailed an oil supply accord earlier this year, met in Vienna for a second day of discussions to prepare for wider group talks next week in Algiers.
The two oil producers met at the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna in preparation for informal discussions between energy ministers from OPEC and Russia in Algiers next week, according to two people briefed on the discussions. The two nations have not yet reached an agreement, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the meeting was private.
The rare private talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran — OPEC’s two leading members and regional rivals — show diplomatic efforts to secure a meaningful deal in Algiers are still under way. Prices have retreated this month amid concern there will be no serious commitment to constrain supply and all but two of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week predict there will be no agreement next week.
“This time, we believe that the environment is more conducive to some type of deal,” Helima Croft, head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets LLC, said in a note. “The odds are in favor of the cartel opting for pragmatism.”