OPEC ministers meet today to arrive at consensus on oil output amid rifts
As the Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) faces a rift within, ministers of its member countries have gathered in Vienna, the group's headquarters, to discuss the issue of global oil output.
It is believed that the body might make a significant decision on production on Friday, June 22, amid the growing political tension between some of its member countries.
While Saudi Arabia, a member of the OPEC, and Russia, a non-member, have spoken in favour of lifting production after a tight output control sustaining over 18 months, Iran and other members of the bloc have resisted it and even threatened to veto the proposal made by Riyadh.
The energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran also held last-minute talks ahead of the Opec meeting on Friday, the Financial Times cited Iran's Shana news agency as reporting.
The talks were thought to be the last-ditch attempt by the Saudis to convince Iran over their proposal to increase daily oil output, the report added.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are known to be serious political foes in West Asia.
Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan said the root cause of the disagreement is the complex economic and political clash of interests among the 14 OPEC members.
"Geopolitics loom over the gathering with ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Middle East's main regional rivals, at the table," he said.
Outside factors are also at play.
"The US has been lobbying the Saudi leadership for months, urging an end to OPEC's voluntary cut in oil production," Brennan said, adding that US President also tweeted many times about his belief that the OPEC was keeping its prices high artificially.