By Lamine Chikhi
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria’s energy minister has said there is a consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC members about the need to stabilise the oil market to support prices, state news agency APS reported on Saturday.
Noureddine Bouterfa was speaking after meeting his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih and OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Paris late on Friday.
Bouterfa has travelled to Qatar, Iran and Russia this week to push for the oil price to be stabilised between $50 and $60, and said he was “confident” about the outcome of an OPEC meeting to be held in Algiers on Sept. 26-28.
Bouterfa said Algeria would submit a proposal to steady prices at the meeting. “Our discussions with our partners show that there is a consensus around the necessity of stabilising the market. That is already something positive,” Bouterfa said.
“We are in contact with the members and the secretary-general of OPEC and that is part of this work of achieving a consensus and I am optimistic.”
“There is support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Venezuela, Kuwait, and from non-OPEC countries, notably Russia.”
Barkindo told APS, in remarks published later, that OPEC was not seeking a definite price range for oil but rather “sustainable stability” for the market.
Asked after the Friday meeting what reasonable price OPEC was targeting, he said: “This is not what we are seeking at the moment.”
Algeria is hosting a meeting of the International Energy Forum alongside the OPEC meeting later this month, and Bouterfa said he had discussed both sessions with Falih and Barkindo in Paris.
Algeria is among the oil producers to have taken a heavy hit from the halving of oil prices over the past two years.
Moves towards clinching a global deal on stabilising crude output come five months after talks for such a deal failed when Saudi Arabia insisted Iran join the pact.
Tehran says it supports any measures to stabilise the market, but has stopped short of indicating whether it would join a global deal before its production reaches 4 million barrels per day, the level at which it says it was pumping before the imposition of Western sanctions in 2012.
(Additional reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Kevin Liffey)