Mexican Energy Minister Ernesto Martens flew into Riyadh for talks with his Saudi and Venezuelan counterparts ahead of an OPEC meeting expected to cut oil output, the Saudi news agency SPA said Sunday.
It said Martens was greeted on his arrival late Saturday by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi. They were to discuss the supply and demand situation on the world oil market, a Mexican diplomat said.
Venezuelan Energy Minister Alvaro Silva Calderon, meanwhile, was due in Riyadh late Sunday for talks the next day with his Saudi counterpart.
Saudi officials said the three ministers would also meet jointly before leaving for the March 16 meeting in Vienna of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Diplomats posted in Riyadh said that Martens, whose country is a major independent oil producer, would also travel to Vienna for talks on the sidelines of the cartel's meeting. Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela regularly consult ahead of major decisions on oil production levels.
In London, oil prices slouched lower Friday as the market waited for indications on the size of an OPEC cut. A barrel of Brent North Sea crude for April delivery slipped to $26.47 from $26.68 at the previous close.
"There seems to be a growing consensus that OPEC will cut output between 0.5 and one million barrels per day at the meeting, but there does not seem to be a consensus on what will happen to prices after that," said the GNI brokerage house. — (AFP)
Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)