Energy ministers meet in Algiers for the 15th International Energy Forum (IEF15) to tackle price instability and cybersecurity concerns. A meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers on the sidelines is expected to propose a production freeze.
The IEF15 web site notes that the Forum's biennial ministerial meetings are the world's largest gathering of Energy Ministers. The invitation-only event also provides opportunities for the bilateral interaction of ministers and industry executives from the 73 member countries.
Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia, previously resistant to the idea of a production freeze to reduce the supply glut that is shrinking oil prices, has announced it will work with OPEC and non-OPEC members at the peripheral meeting to help stabilize oil markets. The announcement nudged prices higher: Brent crude was up more than 3 per cent at US $45.50 a barrel. The newswire notes that the statement indicates Riyadh is worried oil prices could be heading back towards US $40 per barrel or lower due to fears of oversupply. Non-OPEC member Russia and OPEC member Iran are likely to be the loudest voices against a production freeze to prop up prices.
Cybersecurity has drawn level with supply and price issues as a key concern. The organization describes rapid technological change in the energy sector and the broader economy as boons, but laments that they may have exposed the sector and the associated critical infrastructures to substantial risks.
Date written/update: 2016-08-17