On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh was trying to understand how energy markets would respond to a world without OPEC.
The reported study comes less than a month before OPEC and non-OPEC members are scheduled to re-convene in Austria, Vienna in order to vote on its next policy decision.
On Sunday, top exporters at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Abu Dhabi said they would not shy away from another round of production cuts.
This appeared to an abrupt turnabout from OPEC's September meeting, when some of the world's leading oil producers were talking about pumping extra oil onto the market in order to help soothe intensifying supply shock fears.
"We have been through a very difficult and turbulent year-and-a-half … The next meeting is going to be interesting," Suhail Al Mazrouei, the United Arab Emirates' minister of energy and industry and OPEC president, said at a press conference Monday.