So, Saudi Arabia really did fail to achieve a consensus at the Opec meeting in Vienna today. Abdalla El Badri, the cartel’s secretary general, has just announced that its production policy will remain unchanged and the member countries were unable to reach any agreement on a proposal to raise their output targets. The deep divisions within Opec, particularly between Saudi Arabia and Iran, appear to have become so poisonous that this organisation is incapable of taking any substantive decision.
Badri, a visibly dejected man, made another remarkable announcement. The loss of Libyan production, which totalled 1.58m barrels per day in January, must surely rank among the most significant developments on the oil market this year. It has certainly been a key factor behind the steady rise in prices. Did Opec’s oil ministers even discuss the issue? Apparently not. Badri told the world’s press: “We did not dicu