Business & Tech

Saudi Arabia says it’s open to another OPEC cuts extension

Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid Al-Falih agreed with his Venezuelan, Kazakh, and United Arab Emirates counterparts to keep all options open in their push to rebalance world oil markets, including the possible extension of output cuts beyond next March. 

Falih agreed in separate talks with the ministers in the Kazakh capital Astana that steps taken by OPEC and other major crude producers such as Kazakhstan have contributed to better market stability, according to three e-mailed statements from the Saudi energy ministry. 

Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, agreed to consider prolonging production cuts “beyond the first quarter of 2018, if needed,” the Saudi ministry said in one of the statements. The kingdom and Kazakhstan said such an extension “would be considered in due course as market fundamentals may dictate,” according to a separate Saudi statement.

Advertisement

OPEC and other producers, including Russia, pledged to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels a day through March to trim global oil inventories and buttress prices. The producers are seeking to strengthen compliance with the cuts accord they reached last year.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Falih met with Venezuela’s Eulogio Del Pino, Kazakhstan’s Kanat Bozumbayev, and the United Arab Emirates’ Suhail Al-Mazrouei on the sidelines of an event by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Astana.

Falih and Mazrouei agreed that an extension of the output cuts beyond March 31 “may be considered in due course as fundamentals unfold,” according to a Saudi ministry statement. The Saudi energy minister and his Venezuelan counterpart said their countries are exceeding full compliance with their targeted production cuts and they shared “an optimistic outlook” on global supply and demand for crude in 2018, according to a statement.

Bozumbayev told 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.