Oil prices have now crashed to below $28 a barrel, the lowest since 2003, and one member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) has had enough.
Ecuador, the smallest member of the OPEC oil cartel, is “tired” of “pushing” OPEC to cut output and the nation will continue working as if the oil cartel “did not exist,” President Rafael Correa told reporters, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Correa has long pushed for a cut in production to boost oil prices, however his calls have been ignored by OPEC’s larger members.
“With a small cut in production, the price could rise a lot,” Correa told reporters. “Why don’t they do it? I’m tired of insisting.”
In related news, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Venezuela has made another request for an emergency meeting with OPEC members as the collapse in oil prices continues to hurt the group’s most vulnerable members.
Venezuela has repeatedly urged for OPEC members to meet as crashing oil prices deplete government revenue.
Saudi Arabia has insisted that it won’t cut production unless non-OPEC exporters cooperate, and signaled again on January 17 that it will be sticking to its strategy of defending its market share.
An emergency meeting would require approval from all OPEC member countries, and Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are unlikely to support an unscheduled meeting, according to three OPEC delegates, Bloomberg reports.
So far, Ecuador has been the only country to have publicly backed the move.
The oil supply glut appears to only be growing worse, now that Iran is ramping up production following a lift of sanctions.
The price of 13 crudes from OPEC nations languished at $23.85 a barrel on Tuesday, a decline of nearly 80 percent since the start of 2014, according to Bloomberg.