Date
22 September 2017
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi says he will not push for production cuts but stopped short of a specific plan ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna. Photo: Reuters
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi says he will not push for production cuts but stopped short of a specific plan ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna. Photo: Reuters

Saudis won’t push for OPEC cuts

Saudi Arabia will not push for an OPEC production cut after it reached a consensus with fellow Gulf producers.

Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi hinted at the Saudi position ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the cartel in Vienna, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, he stopped short of saying if Saudi supports a production cut or the status quo in output targets, the Financial Times reported.

Al-Naimi told reporters that the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, had come to an agreement.

“We are very confident that OPEC will have a unified position,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Earlier, Naimi had said he expected the oil market “to stabilise itself eventually”, remarks that weighed on the oil price as market observers took this to mean the Gulf nation would not push for a big change in production targets amid falling crude prices.

On Wednesday, the January contract for Brent crude oil, the major international gauge for oil contracts, slipped to US$78.28 a barrel.

The January contract for West Texas Intermediate, the US-focused barometer was US$73.95 a barrel, a four-year low, according to USA Today.

OPEC has a formal supply target of 30 million barrels a day but for the past six months, it has produced an excess of 600,000 barrels a day.

In October, OPEC and non-OPEC nations produced 94.2 million barrels of crude oil and related products a day — 2.7 million barrels more than a year ago. 

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