Saudi oil minister says OPEC production cut ‘imperative’
Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said it was “imperative” that OPEC nations finalise an agreement over a cut in oil production aimed at boosting crude prices, Algerian media said yesterday.
Khalid Al-Falih met his Algerian counterpart Noureddine Boutarfa yesterday and called on cartel members to stick to the surprise cut deal, reached in Algiers in September. “In this period marked by unstable oil prices it is imperative to reach a consensus between OPEC nations and to agree on an effective mechanism and precise figures to activate the historic Algiers accord,” Falih was quoted as saying by Algeria’s APS news agency. The September meeting of OPEC members produced an agreement to cut the cartel’s output by 750,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to Bloomberg News.
Oil rose on news of the deal, but crude prices are still more than 50 percent lower than their mid-2014 levels. Falih said he was “optimistic” that the agreement would come into effect.
The Saudi minister was quoted as saying that a “fair and balanced” output deal would allow unrest-hit Libya and Nigeria, with a return of security, to raise production, while reaching agreement with Iran on a freeze. Falih and his Algerian counterpart Boutarfa called for the date an OPEC preparatory meeting of experts ahead of the Vienna conference to be brought forward to November 21 from its scheduled date of November 25, APS reported.
OPEC officials said in September that the group would aim for a combined output of 32.5-33 million bpd. On Friday, however, prices fell on news from OPEC that it had pumped oil in October at record levels of 33.64 million bpd, 236,000 barrels per day more than the previous month.
Iran opened three oilfields with a total production of more than 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) yesterday, as the country ramps up its production after the lifting of sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani officially launched the first phases of the Yadavaran and North Azadegan fields as well as the the North Yaran field, which are shared with neighboring Iraq, the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported.
Yadavaran will have a production of up to 115,000 bpd in its first phase and North Azadegan’s output is 75,000 bpd, SHANA said. North Yaran will initially produce 30,000 bpd, the news agency reported last week. —Reuters