Iraq’s president and Libya’s prime minister flew to Riyadh as Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al- Naimi tours Latin America ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna to discuss the fall in oil prices.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani arrived in Saudi Arabia just as Iraqi President Fouad Masoum left the kingdom after a two-day visit where he met with King Abdullah, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
The trips come as Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are gearing up for their meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27. Brent crude extended losses below $80 a barrel, dropping to a four-year low amid signs that OPEC’s biggest members will refrain from reducing output to ease a supply glut.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is trying to get consensus among OPEC members before they meet, Kuwait- based analyst Kamel al-Harami said by phone. “The Saudis will not walk the road alone, they want to see everyone share the burden with them.”
Falling oil prices are straining state budgets among OPEC members, including Iraq’s government, which is leading a costly war against Islamist militants, and Libya that is struggling to keep crude output steady amid political divisions and violence.
Saudi Arabia remains committed to seeking a stable oil price and speculation of a battle between crude producers has no basis, Al-Naimi said yesterday in Mexico after a visit to Venezuela.
OPEC members Libya, Venezuela and Ecuador have called for action to prevent crude from falling further. Libya’s OPEC governor Samir Kamal said last month that the group must cut daily output by 500,000 barrels as the market is oversupplied by about 1 million barrels a day.
“They can all come to Saudi Arabia and ask the Saudis to support oil prices, but that will not change anything,” al- Harami said. “At the next meeting, Naimi will look for a cut by all the members and if he doesn’t get it, nothing will change.”