The 166th OPEC ministerial meeting, due Thursday here, is widely seen by international observers and analysts as one of the most anticipated meetings in years due to plummeting oil prices.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Dr. Ali Al-Omair is expected to arrive later today to take part in the meeting.
According to analysts, the oil cartel is likely to head for cutting on production levels to halt such price decline. Support for such a move was coalescing last week at a meeting of OPEC advisers.
With oil prices having recently stabilized at around USD 80 a barrel following a 30 percent slide since the summer, some within OPEC have seen less urgent need for the group to take stronger action.
OPEC agreed to limit its collective output to 30 million barrels of oil a day three years ago. But its actual production has regularly spilled over as each member has pushed to maintain their share of global oil markets.
Closer compliance would imply a supply cut of around 300,000 barrels a day compared with October levels.
OPEC has, in the past, taken far more drastic action to boost oil prices. It slashed production quotas by 4.2 million barrels a day in 2008 following the global financial crisis. An OPEC production cut of around 1.5 million barrels would be needed to tighten global oil markets next year, according to oil analysts.
The two main reasons for the recent surplus of crude oil: The economic stagnation in Europe and Japan has sapped demand and the steady increase in US production of shale oil, up four million barrels a day over the past six years, has bolstered supply. That new incremental US production is greater than the entire production of any OPEC country except Saudi Arabia.
Many analysts have said that Saudi Arabia, by maintaining a high level of oil output and driving prices down, has been trying to slow the US shale oil boom by making drilling less profitable.