Cut Output By One Million Barrels Per Day, Saudi Minister Tells Countries

Gladys Abbott
November 12, 2018

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters that the market may face a specific oversupply due to seasonal factors in the next few months, but it will be balanced by 2019.

But they climbed on Monday as the world's biggest supplier Saudi Arabia announced plans to cut production in response to fears of oversupply.

Mr Al Falih expressed concern, however, over the recent downward turn of the oil markets, which had through the summer held about $80 per barrel, only to fall to $69 on Friday, after the US Energy Information Administration reported higher US production figures and the White House granted waivers to eight of Iran's top oil buyers.

The crash deeply impacted oil producers, with Saudi Arabia's fiscal deficit rising to 16% of its GDP - meaning lesser money for infrastructure, defence, and its social projects such as free medicine for citizens and so on.

"Ideally, we don't like to cut", Al-Falih said.

"There is no consensus yet among oil producers about cutting production", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the meeting of their Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee.

Meeting to examine how to curb a sharp slide in oil prices, the producers said they "reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements".

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"With the Iranian sanctions not being as severe as initially feared, officials from the OPEC and non-OPEC producers may discuss at the weekend the need to bring compliance back down... or risk another 2014-style slide in prices". They worry that a continued fall in crude oil price will cause a 2014-16 style oil crash when oil price dropped 70%, in large part due to the United States shale oil boom.

Opec secretary-general Mohammed Barkindo said at the meeting that conformity on the earlier output increases, which had been in place since May, was at 104 per cent for the month of October.

The UAE's Mazrouei said the goal of OPEC and non-OPEC cooperation was to strike a balance in the market.

Producers implemented large cuts starting at the beginning of 2017 and managed to push up oil prices from below $30 a barrel to over $85 in October, strongly improving their revenues.

He also did not clarify whether the exemptions to production cuts extended to Iran in 2016 after its re-entry into the global oil markets, following the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions, would be extended this time after the imposition of United States sanctions.

But the producer nations eased the output cuts in June after signs of a tight market and higher prices, allowing hundreds of thousands of extra barrels into the market.

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