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LatAm Oil Producers to Seek Joint Stance to Boost Prices

A worker pumps gas into a vehicle at a gas station belonging to Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, as she holds bolivar notes, in Caracas, Feb. 13, 2016. Venezuela has the world's cheapest gasoline.

A meeting between Latin American oil producers on Friday will seek to unify the region in backing an output freeze or other measures to bolster prices ahead of a possible OPEC, non-OPEC meeting in Russia later this month, Ecuador's oil minister said.

Friday's meeting in Quito will involve the region's main exporters Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

The meeting is the first significant sign that non-OPEC producers Colombia and Mexico are involved in an effort to halt the price decline.

"What's the idea this Friday? To have a meeting, come up with a manifesto to say that all Latin American countries — OPEC and non-OPEC — are willing to do something: freeze the production ceiling, cut if necessary, and join any OPEC initiative," Carlos Pareja told a local radio station.

"If the whole oil world decides to take action, believe me this problem will be solved."

Ecuador and Venezuela have pushed hard for the OPEC, non-OPEC meeting because they have suffered more during the recent price plunge than most producers given their heavy reliance on oil. Global prices have fallen 70 percent since mid-2014.

"There is talk of an OPEC, non-OPEC meeting in Russia from March 20 or 21," he said. "Our proposal is to unite in a decision aimed at better prices and stabilizing the market."