Top oil officials from Saudi Arabia, Russia and several key OPEC members will meet on Tuesday for their highest-level discussion in months, a potentially pivotal sign that producers are at last preparing to tackle a devastating supply glut.
The talks in the Qatari capital Doha, which had been kept under wraps until recent days, involve powerful Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak, sources said, two figures who must reach an accord for any coordinated global action to hold any hope of success.
The agenda for Tuesday's meeting was unclear, and the sources declined to provide any further details on it. Del Pino made no comment on Monday when he arrived in Qatar.
The meeting comes after more than 18 months of declining oil prices, knocking prices below $30 a barrel for the first time in over a decade. The slump has been longer and deeper than anyone predicted, and the mood may be shifting among producers which until now have been determined to defend market share rather then prices.