The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and US shale producers are holding a meeting in Houston later on Monday to discuss shale business and “compare notes,” OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said.

“We are continuing our informal dialogue with our friends in the shale business tonight. It’s an informal dialogue that we initiated two years ago and we both agreed to continue it”, Barkindo said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Texas.

When asked whether the sides would discuss the Venezuelan crisis during the meeting, Barkindo said they would not.

“No, it’s an informal meeting. It’s just an exchange of information to compare notes, what’s happening in the shale business and other parts of the world. We agreed that we are all in the same boat and the oil industry is the global industry. What’s happening in the shale business affects others”, he noted.

The OPEC also hopes to sign a charter on long-term cooperation with non-cartel producers at a meeting in Vienna in April, Mohammed Barkindo told Sputnik Monday.

“We are hoping to conclude it [the charter of cooperation] in April at the OPEC, non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Conference in Vienna”, Barkindo said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Texas. 

Vienna will host an upcoming 17-18 April meeting between OPEC member states and non-cartel producers as planned, Barkindo said Monday, commenting on media reports alleging the relocation of the meeting to Cairo.

“Not at the moment, we are focusing on what we agreed on December — meet in Vienna”, Barkindo said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Texas.

Asked if other OPEC meetings could be held in Cairo in the future, Barkindo responded he could not say it at the moment.

Barkindo also said Monday that he was waiting for the upcoming meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of OPEC and non-cartel producers to see their compliance with the most recent oil output cut agreement.

“We are going to meet this weekend in Baku, Azerbaijan in the JMMC between OPEC and non-OPEC and we hope to evaluate conformity levels. It’s the first time that JMMC will meet and we are waiting to see what the data will provide”, he said.

OPEC data could differ from the one provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA), he noted. “The IEA does not represent JMMC, it’s just one of the sources. We have to wait until Baku”, Barkindo said when asked about IEA’s evaluation non-OPEC’s compliance with output cuts at just 25 percent. 

On 7 December, participants of the OPEC-non-OPEC oil output cut deal, which has been in force since early 2017, agreed to reduce overall production by 1.2 million barrels per day starting from 2019, with a view of signing the charter on future long-term cooperation in the first quarter of 2019. OPEC member states will cut production by 800,000 barrels per day and non-OPEC countries by 400,000 barrels per day.

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