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OPEC oil ministers to meet informally in September

Published:Wednesday | August 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

OPEC has announced that oil ministers of the 14-nation organisation will meet in September, well ahead of their previously scheduled November meeting.

The announcement notes that the meeting will be "informal". Still, it is unusual for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to come together at the ministerial level outside of their regularly set gatherings.

OPEC headquarters in Vienna says the meeting will be held in Algeria on the sidelines of the 15th International Energy Forum grouping 75 fossil energy producing and consuming countries as well as transit nations for oil and gas.

The cost of a barrel of oil has been generally stuck in a range of US$40-US$50 a barrel for more than a year, less than half of what a barrel fetched three years ago.

At midday Tuesday, benchmark US crude was trading up at US$43 per barrel in New York, adding to the US$1.22 gains made on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was trading down at US$45.33 per barrel in London.

"News that OPEC would be having a September meeting with certain members keen to push for supply cuts again served as the impetus for oil prices to rally. While a deal is highly unlikely to eventuate, the fact that it is even being mentioned shows how much difficulty the past month's renewed sell-off was causing many struggling OPEC members," Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG in Melbourne, Australia, said in a daily commentary.

- AP