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The Opec headquarters in Vienna. The recent price slide brought on by concerns over the Cina virus outbreak and its impact on the economy will be the focus of any upcoming Opec meet. Image Credit: AFP

London (Bloomberg): Opec is considering pushing forward a meeting initially scheduled for March, according to Algeria’s energy minister, after oil prices slumped on concern that the spread of coronavirus would hurt oil demand.

Mohamed Arkab said the meeting scheduled for March is likely to be moved to February. A decision may be taken “in the coming days,” he said.

Several delegates from the organization said they were unaware of any discussion to bring forward the meeting date, while another said the talks were at an informal stage. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are set to meet March 5-6 to discuss the future of oil-production cuts that expire at the end of March.

Brent crude has dropped more than 9 per cent this month even after the US killed a key Iranian general and Libya’s oil production was cut to near zero after a blockade of the nation’s ports virtually halted exports. Saudi Arabia has said it’s “closely monitoring” the effect of the virus on the oil market.