Saudi energy minister agrees to leave all options open in push to re-balance world oil markets
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih agreed with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts to leave all options open in their push to re-balance world oil markets, including the possible extension of output cuts beyond next March.
Al-Falih agreed in separate talks with the ministers in the Kazakh capital Astana that steps by OPEC and other major crude producers such as Kazakhstan have contributed to better market stability and a re-balancing of supply and demand, according to emailed statements from the Saudi energy ministry.
Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, “agreed on the importance of leaving all options open with regards to the voluntary re-balancing efforts, including the possible extension of these efforts beyond the first quarter of 2018, if needed,” the Saudi ministry said in one of the statements.
The kingdom and Kazakhstan said an extension in cuts beyond the first quarter “would be considered in due course as market fundamentals may dictate,” according to a separate statement from the Saudi ministry.
OPEC and other producers including Russia pledged to reduce production by about 1.8 million barrels a day through March in a drive to trim global oil inventories and buttress prices. Producers are seeking to strengthen their compliance with the cuts accord reached last year. Al-Falih of Saudi Arabia, the largest supplier in OPEC, met with Venezuela’s Eulogio Del Pino on Saturday and with Kazakhstan’s Kanat Bozumbayev on Sunday.
Al-Falih and Del Pino said both their countries are exceeding full conformity with their targeted production cuts and that they shared “an optimistic outlook on market fundamentals in 2018,” according to a statement.
Bozumbayev told Al-Falih that “despite the gradual ramp up of the giant Kashagan field this year, Kazakhstan was able, through reducing production in other fields in August, to achieve more than full conformity with its voluntary production level,” the Saudi ministry said in a separate statement.
Al-Falih agreed with Bozumbayev to expand cooperation between their two countries in all areas of the energy industry, “including two major projects in Kazakhstan in petrochemicals and renewable energy,” according to the statement.