A worker refuels a car at a petrol station in Caracas
Doha - AFP
Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada said Thursday that a proposal by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to hold a summit for oil producers to support sagging prices is under consideration.
"The (Venezuelan) president has proposed a summit meeting and this was announced. Now, various countries are studying the proposal," Sada told reporters after a meeting for Gulf oil ministers.
"Whether OPEC and non-OPEC producers agree to such a proposal remains to be seen," the Qatari minister said without explaining if the Gulf ministers reviewed the issue during their one-day meeting in the Qatari capital.
Venezuela, an OPEC member that relies heavily on oil revenues, has been trying hard to persuade oil producers to cut production to boost oil prices which plunged about 60 percent since June last year.
Last week, Maduro visited Qatar and China, where he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss ways to stabilise oil prices.
Maduro also travelled to Moscow in January as part of a tour in which he discussed plunging oil prices with oil-producing nations including Algeria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.
Oil prices eased in Asia Thursday as dealers focused on an upcoming US energy report for clues about production and demand in the world's top crude consumer amid abundant global supplies.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery fell 13 cents to $44.02 while Brent crude for October dropped 32 cents to $47.26 in afternoon trade.
Sada said oil ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council states reviewed during the meeting prices of oil products amid reports the GCC states may unify fuel prices.
He did not say if the ministers made a decision on the issue.
At the opening of the meeting, the Qatari minister said the GCC states would remain the trusted partner as a reliable source for energy to ensure stability of the global energy market.
GCC states -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates -- together pump about 18 million barrels per day.