Latin American oil producers meet in Ecuador

Latin American oil producers including main exporters Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico gather in Ecuador to talk over common position on global oil prices

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

General view of the meeting of ministers and delegates of five Latin American petroleum producing countries -Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia- in Quito on April 6, 2016.

Ministers from five Latin American oil producers gathered Friday in Ecuador to hash out a regional strategy ahead of a highly anticipated meeting in Doha aimed at stabilising collapsed prices.

The April 17 oil giants' meeting in Doha, led by Russia and Saudi Arabia, has raised producers' hopes of a potential agreement on freezing production to prop up prices.

Ecuadoran Hydrocarbons Minister Carlos Pareja, who hosted his counterparts from Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, said the region wants to support "whatever decision is taken in Qatar."

"That could be a freeze, but we'll decide that at the meeting," he told a press conference ahead of the talks.

"Less than $30 (a barrel) is incompatible with the cost of production and doesn't allow us to make new investments, begin new projects, recover investment. That's a problem for all producers, OPEC and non-OPEC alike. No one escapes. It's a very delicate issue."

Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela proposed an output freeze at January 2016 levels at a meeting in February, and are now looking for other major producers to get on board.

The Doha meeting will bring together both OPEC and non-OPEC members to discuss how to raise prices that have fallen from $115 a barrel in June 2014 to $40 today.