Oil production cut crucial: Saudi minister
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, according to Algerian.
Khalid al-Falih met his Algerian counterpart Noureddine Boutarfa over the weekend 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,” Mr 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 the news, but crude prices are still more than 50 percent lower than their mid-2014 levels.
Mr Falih was optimistic that the agreement would come into effect.
The Saudi minister said that a “fair and balanced” output deal would allow unrest-hit Libya and Nigeria a return of security while reaching agreement with Iran on a freeze.
Mr Falih and his Algerian counterpart Boutarfa called for the date of 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 November 11, however, prices fell on news 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.
In its November monthly report, OPEC said that its 14 members pumped 33.64 million barrels a day (mb/d) in October, 236,000 barrels more than in September.
Saudi Arabia’s output fell 51,700 bpd to 10.5 mb/d but Iraq and Iran, the next biggest producers, registered increases, as did Libya and Nigeria, the report said.
Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch foe, in particular is keen to keep the taps open following the lifting of international sanctions under last year’s landmark nuclear deal.
The OPEC report chimed broadly with figures released by the International Energy Agency, which put cartel output at 33.8 mb/d.
The IEA said this was “well in excess” of the 32.5 mb/d to 33.0 mb/d range agreed by OPEC in September.
“This means that OPEC must agree to significant cuts in Vienna to turn its Algiers commitment into reality,” the IEA added.
Oil prices remained under pressure yesterday over concerns OPEC will not be able to implement an earlier agreement to cut output. –
Saudi Minister of Energy, Industrial and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih (right) talks with the president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada at the Saudi Economic Forum in Riyadh on November 6.