>> Saudi Arabia and Iran's oil ministers preparing for another head-to-head on Thursday. Riyadh wants coordinated action from oil cartel OPEC and a formal output target. Tehran rejects that idea. Reuters oil correspondent, Ron Bousso.>> Iran has been leading the call for its right to increase its production following the lifting of the sanctions early this year to pre-sanction levels.
Whereas Saudi Arabia is saying that if OPEC wants to agree on any kind of production ceiling or freeze, as it's known, all OPEC members need to be on board, including Iran.>> Tensions between the Sunni led kingdom and the Shia Islamic Republic have dominated recent OPEC meetings. In December last year, the group failed to agree on a formal output target for the first time in years.
That sent the price of oil crashing to just $27 a barrel in January, its lowest in over a decade. Prices have recovered to around 50 bucks, but a deal this week would be a big surprise. Markets are increasingly used to clashes between the political foes as they fight proxy wars in Syria and Yemen.
>> I'm sure that if OPEC agrees on a ceiling or some kind of a tangible number that would be seen as a very bullish move for prices. A complete breakdown of talks would probably be interpreted again as negative, whereas anything in between will be more of the same.
>> Reuters sources believe Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies will propose a collective ceiling on Thursday. They want to repair OPEC's waning importance and end a market share battle that sapped prices and cut investment. Tehran, though, standing firm. It's oil minister arriving late Wednesday to tell reporters he's no intention of signing up.