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Output cut still not substantial enough, OPEC says

If an agreed cut in oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day is not enough to balance the market, OPEC and allied producers will hold an extraordinary meeting and do what is necessary, the United Arab Emirates energy minister said on Sunday.

Extending the output agreement signed in early December will not be a problem and producers will do as the market demands, Suhail al-Mazrouei told a news conference at a gathering of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries in Kuwait.

“What if the 1.2 million barrels of cuts are not enough? I am telling you that if it is not, we will meet and see what is enough and we will do it,” Mazrouei said.

“The plan (to cut oil production) is well studied but if it does not work, we always have the power in OPEC to call for an extraordinary meeting,” he added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russia-led allies agreed this month to slash oil production by more than the market had expected.

Still, oil prices fell on Friday to their lowest since the third quarter of 2017 as global oversupply kept buyers away from the market ahead of holidays over the next two weeks.

The Emirati minister said a joint OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee would meet in Baku at the end of February or the beginning of March, as producers aim to return the oil market to the balance reached in the summer of 2018.

Mazrouei was speaking at a news conference with Saudi Arabia’s OPEC governor, Adeeb Al-Aama, and Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban.

Aama said oil market oversupply had fallen to 37 million barrels of crude in November from 340 million barrels in January 2017, when OPEC and its allies began cutting production in an attempt to lift the price of crude.

Ghadhban said he agreed with the Saudi energy minister’s expectation that the decision would be renewed, adding that Iraq would be willing to extend the production agreement in April. OPEC holds its next full meeting that month in Vienna.

“We would be watching the prices and how they react over time,” Ghadhban said.

Source: Reuters

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