The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Wednesday is a credible policy going into a year when a sluggish global economy could undermine fuel demand and send oil prices tumbling from over $107 a barrel now. Andrew Potter reports.
Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister arrives in Vienna ahead of an OPEC meeting on Wednesday. The meeting is the first in six months. Last time around the group acrimoniously failed to agree an output target. The target this time is 30 million barrels a day, a figure designed to prevent the price of oil falling too far below the current level of $107 a barrel. But Saudi Arabia has made clear it wants to keep oil prices under control to help nurture a recovery in economic growth ahead of a year likely to face significant challenges for many oil consumers. Saudi is already pumping at its highest level for decades, pleasing those worried about the impact of high oil prices on global growth. (SOUNDBITE) ( English) VENEZUELAN OIL MINISTER SAYIING: "We are worried about the economy situation, world-wide economy situation and OPEC countries are working on that, on the demand for the next year." Iran is expected to seek a commitment from Saudi Arabia to cut back its output so Libyan can start supplying the quota once more. Iran currently holds the OPEC rotating presidency, and looks set to agree an output target so it doesn't have a second failed meeting under its chairmanship. Andrew Potter, Reuters