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Saudi Arabia, Venezuela Officials Mum About Oil After Meeting

Source: Reuters 11/5/2014, Location: Middle East

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez met as part of a climate change conference on Venezuela's Margarita Island but offered no comment on oil markets afterward.

"It was an extraordinary meeting," Ramirez told reporters after his brief encounter with Naimi. "We talked about climate change."

Naimi did not comment to the press on the meeting, which came several weeks before a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Nov. 27 in Vienna.

Ramirez for nearly a decade was oil minister and head of state oil company PDVSA until being named foreign minister in September. He remains Venezuela's OPEC delegation head.

Venezuela has led calls for an emergency OPEC meeting to stem the drop in oil prices and has said it plans to coordinate strategy with fellow OPEC member Ecuador.

Those calls have gotten little traction among OPEC's Gulf members, who have indicated they see no need for action.

Brent crude futures have fallen 27 percent since the start of July and 12 percent in the last month.

After his Venezuela visit, Naimi plans to be in Acapulco, Mexico for a natural gas conference.

His 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.

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