By Deisy Buitrago and Alexandra Valencia
OPEC countries are ready to reach a “forceful” agreement on cutting oil output, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday, following a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Caracas.
“There is sufficient will among OPEC countries to take the step we need to take in the month of November, (to reach) a forceful agreement to reduce production and construct new mechanisms to stabilize the market,” Maduro said in a televised broadcast from the presidential palace.
He said the agreement should “guarantee a realistic and balanced price for those countries that have (oil reserves).”
Barkindo praised Maduro for leading the effort to stabilize markets, describing the situation as the most severe oil market crisis in 50 years. He is scheduled to meet with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Thursday morning, the Ecuadorean president’s office said on Wednesday.
Russia on Wednesday said it was ready to support the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision on an oil output freeze.
OPEC agreed in Algeria on Sept. 28 to limit supply, with special conditions given to Libya, Nigeria and Iran, whose output has been hit by wars and sanctions.
The details are meant to be finalised when OPEC ministers meet in Vienna on Nov. 30.
Since oil prices collapsed in 2014, Venezuela has been among the most vocal in pushing both OPEC and non-OPEC countries to slash crude output.
Its calls were initially ignored by major energy players such as Saudi Arabia, but oil producers have shown increased interest in coordinating output amid continued weakness in crude markets.