Few expected the June 2 meeting to result in some sort of agreement on supply cuts or even a production freeze, given the enmity between several of the group's top members. The collapse of the Doha summit in April, a meeting that only sought to implement a very modest freeze deal, suggests that any cooperation is almost certainly off the table.
However, even since April the chances of a deal have narrowed. That is because oil prices have continued to climb, trading just below $50 per barrel on the eve of the semi-annual OPEC meeting in Vienna.
"From the beginning of the year until now, the market has been correcting itself upward," U.A.E. oil minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told reporters from Vienna on May 31. "The market will fix itself to a price that is fair to the consumers and to the producers." Oil prices have moved up nearly 90 percent since the February lows of $27 per barrel. This extraordinary rally has taken the pressure off of OPEC to take coordinated action on cutting or freezing output.