OPEC Fears Price Collapse
Oil prices could collapse early next year if Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s powerhouse, refuses to work with the cartel’s smaller producers to cap the world’s rising supply of crude, ministers warned on Thursday.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Wednesday to produce 23.65 million barrels a day for the rest of the year, which in effect would let the group pump at near maximum capacity.
But some ministers were perturbed by the way in which Saudi Arabia, whose huge reserves make it the world’s biggest oil exporter, influenced the deal.
From the start of the meeting on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia laid down the law, telling OPEC members that it would pump as much oil as it wanted whether they liked it or not.
“I was not satisfied by the actions of Saudi Arabia at this conference,” Iran’s Oil Minister Gholamreza Aghazadeh told reporters. “I did not think they co-operated with the others.”
The public criticism was aimed at Saudi Oil Minister Hisham Nazir, who said Saudi Arabia insisted on pumping 8.5 million barrels a day.