Zanganeh arrives in Vienna to attend OPEC meeting

March 4, 2020 - 14:44

TEHRAN- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh arrived in Vienna on Wednesday to take part in the 178th Meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Shana news agency reported.

OPEC meets on Thursday in Vienna, followed by talks with non-OPEC allies such as Russia on Friday, as they weigh how to react to a sharp drop in global oil demand due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus (known as Covid-19).

In the extraordinary two-day meeting, OPEC and allies will explore the ways of halting the fall in oil prices in the past two months as the epidemic has spread.

At their previous gathering in December, the group agreed to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day, with Saudi Arabia offering a further 400,000 barrels of "voluntary" cuts.

Prices were already under pressure at that point from abundant reserves and weak global growth.

The cuts announced in December initially had the desired effect of an uptick in prices but the epidemic has since sent them plunging back down again.

The two benchmarks for oil prices, Brent in Europe and WTI for the U.S., have fallen nearly 30 percent since early January and have reached their lowest levels for more than a year.

EF/MA

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