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OPEC and allies plan another meeting in Vienna for Jun 25-26

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OPEC and allies plan another meeting in Vienna for Jun 25-26

London — OPEC has scheduled another meeting for June 25-26 in Vienna, after it holds its already announced extraordinary session April 17-18, officials said Wednesday.

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June 25 will be OPEC's regular biannual meeting, officials told S&P Global Platts, with 10 non-OPEC allies joining talks the next day.

The 24-country OPEC/non-OPEC coalition is in the midst of a 1.2 million b/d production cut accord scheduled to expire at the end of June. Members had scheduled the extraordinary meeting for April, so that the market could digest any decision on extending the cuts far in advance of their expiry.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier Wednesday he was "leaning toward the likelihood of an extension in the second half [of 2019]," though he added that the bloc would assure "no unnecessary tightening in the market."

"I assure all of our partners around the world that we remain prudent, we remain pragmatic, and we remain focused on fundamentals," he told reporters on the sidelines of an OPEC workshop in Riyadh, in comments broadcast by CNBC.

Falih's comments come two days after US President Donald Trump tweeted yet another warning at OPEC not to allow oil prices to rise too high.

"OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike -- fragile!" Trump said Monday in his 11th tweet aimed at the producer group since he became president.

A key six-country OPEC/non-OPEC market monitoring committee co-chaired by Falih and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak will meet March 18 in Azerbaijan.

The talks will be complicated by uncertainty over the US' intentions on the sanctions waivers it granted to eight countries to continue buying Iranian oil, which expire in early May, as well as sanctions the US has imposed on Venezuela.

Iranian production has fallen by more than 1 million b/d since May, when Trump announced he was planning to withdraw from the nuclear deal. Venezuelan output, meanwhile, could fall by 500,000 b/d or more after the US last month hit Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA with crippling sanctions.

-- Herman Wang,

-- Edited by Jonathan Fox,