Despite concerns over a potentially intensifying battle for oil market share between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, the overall tone of the OPEC meeting in Vienna on Thursday was positive, with Brent crude prices holding around US$50/bbl.
Ministers were keen to reassure those in attendance that despite the current global supply glut, current trends pointed towards a more balanced oil market in the second half of 2016.
Although it was made clear from the outset that the purpose of the meeting was not to agree on an output ceiling, ministers indicated that discussions would take place regarding a return to a national quota system for oil output. Undisputedly however, the main item on the agenda was to appoint a new Secretary General.
OPEC failed to agree on a clear output strategy, and intends to revisit the contentious issue of introducing a supply range for each member country in December. Fortunately, the appointment of Nigeria’s Mohammed Barkindo as the new Secretary General was a unanimous decision, which is positive news for the upcoming December meeting.
Edited by Louise Mulhall
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