OPEC +, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, plus allies led by Russia, are scheduled to hold a crucial meeting this Sunday, just days after Saudi Arabia’s stern warnings to market players involved in short-selling activity, as well as amidst an output policy row that has broken out between Riyadh and Moscow.
Journalists have not been invited to the forthcoming meeting, a development that has surprised global media outlets.
The latest OPEC meeting comes after the organization caught the internationally community off guard by announcing, in April, it would make further cuts in oil production.
At the time, the move drove up oil prices by approximately 9 dollars per barrel, to levels over 87 dollars per barrel. Prices eventually eased off, the Brent oil price falling as low as 70 dollars per barrel.
The oil market’s volatility makes it impossible to predict what OPEC’s next move could be. Signs offered by major producers as to what may follow remain ambiguous and could be interpreted in a number of ways.
Also, Saudi Arabia and Russia are currently embroiled in a dispute over the organization’s output policy. Riyadh has expressed disappointment over Moscow’s breach of an OPEC agreement to cut output. Saudi Arabia wants oil prices to rise to between 80 and 81 dollars a barrel.
Riyadh has also been angered by the short-selling practices of speculators, seeking to manipulate markets for lower oil prices and profitable selling.