No need for extraordinary OPEC meeting, says Saudi oil minister

By Irina Slav

There is no need for the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to schedule an extraordinary meeting before April, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, told media, as quoted by Reuters.

At the same event, an industry conference taking place in Abu Dhabi, Al-Falih also said the market was moving in the right direction and prices will recover soon enough.

He added, however, that OPEC and its partners are ready to do more if this was called for.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate are down again today, after a pickup last week, with Brent crude trading at US$59.71 a barrel at the time of writing, down 1.27 per cent, and WTI trading at US$50.85 a barrel, down 1.43 per cent from Friday’s close.

“If we look beyond the noise of weekly data and speculators’ herd-like behavior, I remain convinced that we’re on the right track, and that the oil market will quickly return to balance,” AL-Falih said, adding that secondary data sources tracking OPEC production had found that the cartel had pumped 600,000 bpd less in December than in the previous month.

The possibility of an extraordinary meeting was first voiced by the Oil Minister of the UAE, Suhail al-Mazrouei, who said OPEC might need to meet again to discuss tweaks to the cuts before April if 1.2 million bpd was not enough to prop up prices.

“What if the 1.2 million barrels of cuts are not enough? I am telling you that if it is not, we will meet and see what is enough and we will do it,” Mazrouei said in late December.

“The plan (to cut oil production) is well studied but if it does not work, we always have the power in OPEC to call for an extraordinary meeting. If we are required to extend for (another) six months, we will do it… I can assure you an extension will not be a problem.”


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