Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he held “successful” talks with his Venezuelan counterpart about ways of cooperating to stabilize the crude market, without saying what steps producers should take to shore up prices.
The two ministers, who met on Sunday in Riyadh, discussed Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino’s recent discussions with other crude producers and the results of those meetings that seek cooperation among suppliers to bring stability to the market, the Saudi ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, the biggest exporter, are both members of OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil.
“I’m very happy to meet and consult with my colleague Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino,” Naimi said in the statement. “It was a successful meeting in a positive atmosphere,” he said, without elaborating.
Del Pino met with al-Naimi after visiting Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Oman on a tour to drum up support for Venezuela’s attempt to buttress oil prices. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and led the group’s strategy in 2014 to defend market share against rival high-cost producers, including U.S. shale drillers, instead of defending oil prices.
Benchmark Brent crude fell 35 percent in 2015 and a further 8.6 percent this year. The contract finished 40 cents lower on Friday at $34.06 as barrel in London.