OPEC member Venezuela to meet at Paris summit
LONDON – The head of OPEC, Abdallah el-Badri, has met with top Saudi Arabia and Bahraini officials in Paris in a bid to secure the release of the world’s biggest oil reserve from their grasp.
In an apparent bid to end a decades-long standoff over the controversial Al-Udeid oil field in Iraq, the OPEC leaders on Wednesday met in Paris with senior officials from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, and Russia to discuss the dispute.
Badri said the meeting was aimed at ending the crisis.
“We have reached an agreement on the issue of the Al- Udeid field and this is an important step,” he told reporters in Riyadh.
The Saudi Arabian crown prince is the chairman of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a group of oil exporters.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have threatened to block OPEC from drilling in Iraq’s oil fields unless the region is freed from U.S.-led sanctions imposed over the crisis, which they say threaten their ability to export.
But OPEC has refused to release the oil and is insisting on an international agreement that would allow it to resume oil exports.
The leaders are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a resolution to the dispute, which has dragged on for decades, in an effort to defuse the crisis in the region and avert a new global oil price war.
U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold aid to Saudi Arabia as he weighs whether to impose sanctions against the kingdom.
He also has said he will cut off oil imports from Saudi as a result of the dispute over the Al Udeids.
On Thursday, a senior White House official said that President Donald J. Trump has instructed his administration to begin to cut off assistance to Saudi in the event that they do not agree to a resolution of the oil dispute.
Trump has called the dispute between the U.s. and Saudi Arabia a “game of chicken” and said he would decide on whether to cut all or some U.