Vienna: OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Venezuela were meeting with officials from fellow oil producers Russia and Mexico here Tuesday against a backdrop of sliding crude prices, sources told AFP.
The meeting comes two days before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was to hold its most significant meeting in recent years to decide on whether to cut the cartel`s oil production to help stabilise tumbling prices.
OPEC pumps out about one-third of the world`s oil while Russia is itself a major producer of crude.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, accompanied by the chief executive of Russian oil giant Rosneft, arrived at a Vienna hotel where the meeting with OPEC officials was said to be taking place.
The 12-nation OPEC is under pressure to address tumbling prices that have slashed their precious revenues.
Crude futures have sunk 30 percent since June on the back of plentiful oil supplies, a strong dollar as well as worries about stalling energy demand.
OPEC`s poorer members, led by Venezuela and Ecuador, have called publicly for a cut in oil output, while Iran has also hinted at the need for a reduction.
But the cartel`s Gulf members, led by kingpin Saudi Arabia, are rejecting such calls unless they are guaranteed market share in the highly competitive arena, according to analysts.
Separately, Russia last week declared that it was considering cutting its oil production in a bid to revive falling prices.