OPEC is heading for tougher-than-expected policy talks on Thursday amid concern that its efforts to rebalance the oil market might overshoot by creating a global deficit and spurring a further price rally.
“It will not be an easy meeting and we always look at various scenarios,” United Arab Emirates Energy Minister, Suhail Al-Mazroui said on Tuesday in Dubai before leaving for the gathering of OPEC in Vienna.
OPEC, Russia and nine other producers are cutting oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until March 2018, and on Thursday will discuss extending the deal.
The market had largely expected OPEC to prolong cuts until the end of 2018 but doubts have emerged in the last few days.
OPEC’s leader, Saudi Arabia, has signalled that it wants oil to trade at about $60 per barrel as the kingdom prepares to list shares in its national oil firm Aramco and is still fighting a large fiscal deficit.
The Russian government also wants high oil prices ahead of a Presidential election in March 2018.