SAUDI NO NEED
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia sees no need to hold a summit of producing countries' heads of state if such discussions would fail to produce concrete action toward defending oil prices, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The comments followed a meeting of Gulf Arab oil ministers with Qatar's emir in Doha, at which a Venezuelan proposal for an OPEC and non-OPEC summit was discussed.
Oil prices have more than halved since summer last year on an oversupplied market as well as a decision by OPEC to defend market share and discourage competing supply sources, rather than cut its output in the face of cheaper crude.
Riyadh believes it is best not to interfere in the market at present, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
One OPEC source said that should such a meeting produce no concrete outcome, it would have a negative impact on prices.
"If we are meeting for the sake of meeting, it would backfire," the source said.
Earlier on Thursday, Qatar's energy minister said members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers were studying the Venezuelan proposal. "But we are in the study phase," Qatar's Mohammed al-Sada added.
Cash-strapped Venezuela has for months been pushing for an emergency OPEC meeting with Russia to stem the tumble in prices.
"I've made a proposal and I know that the 'empire' is trying to sabotage it around the world," Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who routinely refers to the United States like that, said in a speech on Thursday night.
"I'm proposing a presidential summit of OPEC and non-OPEC producers to take measures to defend the market and the price, measures that can be taken calmly, exercising sovereignty. The consultations are underway. There's some good news on the one hand, but a lot of conspiring on the other."
The price of Venezuela's barrel had dropped to $39 on Thursday, he added.
Non-Gulf members want OPEC to take action. Algeria has written to OPEC expressing concern about the market and Iran has supported the idea of an emergency meeting.
But the Gulf OPEC members have opposed holding an early meeting and show no sign of changing strategy.
OPEC last held a heads-of-state summit in Saudi Arabia in 2007, when oil prices were on their way to a record high of $147 a barrel reached a year later.
Gulf oil sources see no sign of Saudi Arabia wavering particularly when other OPEC members such as Iraq are raising production, and Iran is gearing up to boost exports by next year.
OPEC's strategy needs time to work and they are willing to wait, they say.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.