DUBAI (Reuters) - The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan may attend a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Vienna this month as an observer, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday.
Falih met his counterparts from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Saturday. The Saudi minister said after the meeting that more work was needed to cut inventories.
“Uzbekistan has responded (positively) to participating at the Vienna meeting this month, and has expressed its readiness to attend as an observer,” Falih said on his Twitter account.
Uzbekistan is a small oil producer with around 594 million barrels of proven crude oil reserves. In 2015, its total petroleum and other liquids production was 78,900 barrels per day (bpd), according to the EIA.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are leading a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut oil supply, with the aim of draining global inventories and propping up oil prices.
OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, has been urging other producers to join the supply cut pact. Riyadh holds the presidency of OPEC this year.
The involvement of Uzbekistan is a sign of how the pact is gaining more support from other producers, OPEC sources said.
OPEC, Russia and other oil producers are due to meet on Nov. 30 in Vienna to decide whether to extend the current agreement which expires in March 2018.
Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Keith Weir