MARGARITA, Venezuela, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez will meet on Wednesday on the sidelines of a climate conference, according to a person close to the Saudi delegation.
Though recently appointed foreign minister, Ramirez, the former energy minister and head of state oil company PDVSA, remains Venezuela’s OPEC delegation head and has led calls for an emergency meeting due to global price declines.
“In principle, they are going to meet on Wednesday,” said the source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “There’s an invitation for a lunch or dinner, where they will talk.”
The source could not say if there was a formal agenda, including policy considerations, ahead of the next scheduled meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at the end of this month.
“It’s probably a meeting based on the long, personal relationship they have due to their many years in OPEC,” the source said late on Monday. “It’s a Venezuelan proposal.”
The long-planned climate change meeting, on Margarita Island in the Caribbean off Venezuela, runs from Tuesday to Friday.
After the meeting, Naimi plans to be in Acapulco, Mexico, Nov. 12-14 for a major natural gas conference.
Although the stated purpose is not to discuss oil prices, his travel plans come at a pivotal moment for Saudi Arabia and OPEC, which is working out how to respond to four-year price lows.
The trip has evoked memories of the late 1990s, when Naimi helped broker a deal with Venezuela and Mexico to curb production and revive prices that had fallen nearly $10 a barrel.
But while Venezuela has already begun pressing for output curbs, the oil cartel’s core Gulf members have indicated they see no need for action. (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)