OPEC’s top two oil producing nations will strengthen their resolve on production cuts, as the group struggles to keep to its self-imposed limit.
Late last year, the oil cartel announced it would cut output until March next year in an effort to reverse the downward trend in oil prices.
But figures for July showed that the 14 members had increased production levels – even Saudi Arabia, which had been one of the most determined.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the two biggest oil producers in OPEC, announced on Thursday a renewed push to cut production after a meeting between their oil ministers in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Saudi energy minister Khalid al Falih and his Iraqi oil minister Jabbar al Luaybi also promised to coordinate their oil policies, the Saudi Press Agency said.
The two nations depend heavily on oil and have suffered economically due to its falling price: crude has hovered around $50 a barrel recently, about half of what it was in 2014.
July output from OPEC nations hit 32.87 million barrels per day, up from June’s 32.69 million.
The figure was more than November’s agreed limit of 32.5 million barrels per day and also well above the estimated global demand for OPEC oil, which was 32.4 million.
The signs of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iraq are also perhaps symbolic of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to increase its influence in Iraqi politics ahead of its rival Iran.