Due to the staunch opposition to any production increase from the faction led by Iran and Venezuela, analysts expect this week's OPEC meeting to be a very hard one, comparing it to the 2011 meeting, which the then Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi described as "the worst OPEC meeting of all time", Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch told Reuters.
Both countries would struggle to increase output significantly, as Iran is facing renewed US sanctions that will impact its oil industry and Iraq still has production constraints.
Resistance is being led by Iran, deeply wary of any move by regional rival Saudi Arabia that could push down oil prices at a time when Tehran faces renewed sanctions following US President Donald Trump's decision to quit its global nuclear deal, which is likely to send the country's oil exports plummeting. Energy Ministers from all the OPEC countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran as well as Russia, China, Oman are expected to participate in the Conference.Pradhan will also visit Germany from 21-22nd June, 2018.
Oil prices have advanced in the past four months with North Sea Brent crude rising from $62.79 to $79.80 a barrel by the end of May.
FILE PHOTO: A man fixes a sign with OPEC's logo next to its headquarters' entrance before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria, November 29, 2017. And some Opec members want prices to go higher to help them meet their country's budgets.
"There was a time when oil producing countries were playing a lead role".
"Oil prices are reversing this morning's bout of weakness as bottom pickers enter the fray ahead of this week's crucial OPEC/non-OPEC meeting", said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. Saudi Arabia's clout within the OPEC will be put to test over the weekend.
The OPEC oil ministers began arriving in Vienna on Tuesday ahead of their official meeting Friday, when they will also confer with Russian Federation, a non-OPEC country that since late 2016 has cooperated with the cartel to limit production.
In an escalating spat over the American trade deficit with most of its major trading partners, including China, US President Donald Trump last week pushed ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6.
Oil prices have fallen due to the direct result of the market recalibrating to the likelihood of higher OPEC plus production in the second half of the year.
Waxing poetic message on the current crude oil prices recently, Kachikwu stated: "My name is oil, those who are kind to me call me black gold". There is an existing agreement between these nations to curtail output by 1.8 million barrels per day.
Iraq and Iran have said they would oppose output increases on the grounds that such moves would breach previous agreements to maintain cuts until the year-end.
"We will not keep the prices of petroleum out of the poor people's reach".
One OPEC source said the Saudi proposal of a 1.5-million-bpd increase was "just a tactic" aimed at persuading fellow members to compromise on a smaller rise of around 0.5-0.7 million bpd.