By Vladimir Soldatkin
MOSCOW - Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih expects a "reasonable and moderate" agreement next week when OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing nations meet in Vienna, he told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.
The meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC nations, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, is expected to decide next week whether their current pact to curb oil production needs to be adjusted, as a recent rise in the oil prices has raised concerns among some participants.
Falih, on a visit to Moscow to attend the World Cup opening, where the Russian and Saudi Arabian national soccer teams will play on Thursday, is due to meet Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and President Vladimir Putin before the game.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to arrive to Moscow on Thursday for talks with Putin and the game as well, just a week before the agenda-setting OPEC+ meeting in Vienna.
Falih, asked if he had heard a proposal to increase combined oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day, which would erase the cuts producers are currently observing, said: "We will see where we go, but I think we’ll come to an agreement that satisfies, most importantly, the market."
Falih also said that he did not expect disputes with Iran and Venezuela at the OPEC meeting next week. Iran and Venezuela, both OPEC members, oppose a proposal to increase oil supply.
Asked about the Russia-Saudi Arabia match, Falih said: “It will be a tight game”.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Katya Golubkova; editing by Jason Neely)