VIENNA - OPEC is set for another showdown between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran when it meets on Thursday, with Riyadh trying to revive coordinated action and set a formal oil output target but Tehran rejecting the idea.
Tensions between the Sunni-led kingdom and the Shia Islamic Republic have been the highlights of several previous OPEC meetings, including in December 2015 when the group failed to agree on a formal output target for the first time in years.
Several OPEC sources said Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies would propose to set a new collective ceiling in an attempt to repair OPEC's waning importance and end a market-share battle that has sapped prices and cut investment.
"The Gulf Cooperation Council is looking for coordinated action at the meeting," a senior OPEC source said, referring to a group combining OPEC's biggest producer Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Any agreement between Riyadh and Tehran would be seen as a big surprise by the market, which in the past two years has grown increasingly used to clashes between the political foes as they fight proxy wars in Syria and Yemen.