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Wed 11 Jan 2017 02:57 PM

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Too soon to decide on extending supply deal, says UAE oil minister

Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui says it would be premature to decide whether an agreement should be lengthened

Too soon to decide on extending supply deal, says UAE oil minister
United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohamed al-Mazroui. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

It would be premature to decide whether an agreement among OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to cut output, reached late last year, needs to be extended beyond six months, the United Arab Emirates' energy minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an oil industry conference, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said there needed to be competition in the oil market and trying to fix the market to achieve a certain price would not work, because not everyone in OPEC would support that strategy.

"We are not a cartel. We are not targeting a price," Mazroui said, adding that a $50 oil price would be "fair for some types of oil and not fair for some".

Producers intervened to protect the market through their agreement simply because it was already close to reaching a balance, he said.

Asked if he was confident that producers would stick to the agreement if oil prices rose, Mazroui said: "We did not do it purely for the price...We did it for the sustainability of the industry."

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