Two members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) have clashed over whether the oil cartel will hold an emergency meeting before its next scheduled session in June, as oil prices continue to plump new lows.
Opec members have been hurt by the collapse in global oil prices, with Brent falling below $32 a barrel for the first time in 12 years yesterday. Its been compounded by the organisation's strategy of maintaining production levels, instead of reducing supply to boost prices. Its December meeting ended without agreement on a production ceiling, adding more downward pressure to oil prices.
Speaking at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE energy minister, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, said the current Opec strategy was working, but it would take between one to one-and-a-half years to complete.
"I'm not convinced Opec alone can change or can solely unilaterally change this strategy just because we have seen a low in the market," Mazroui said.
He added that while the first half of this year would be "tough" for the oil market, there would be a gradual recovery later in 2016, helped by an anticipated drop in non-Opec oil production.
The UAE's comments came after a Nigerian minister told Reuters that the 13-member organisation was working towards a meeting in February or March, which is before its next scheduled meeting on June 2.
However, one delegate from an African Opec country said that "there won't be any meeting".