Arab oil ministers stress the need to continue production cuts

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Arab oil ministers from outside the Organization stressed that there is a continuing need for cooperation between oil producers who form part of the global supply reduction agreement, which is due to expire at the end of 2018. OPEC, together with Russia and many other producers cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day, starting in January 2017, which led to a reduction in stocks and pushed oil prices to rise.

OPEC ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Algeria and their counterparts from non-OPEC countries met in Kuwait on Saturday at an unofficial meeting of the inter-ministerial committee working to monitor compliance. The Ministers stressed the need to maintain existing cooperation and to continue the successful efforts of the States participating in the convention. They also called for maintaining the current partnership for continuous adjustment with market movements, in order to achieve the interests of consumers and producers while promoting positive global economic growth.

The ministers also stressed the need to create healthy market conditions that stimulate investment in the energy sector, in order to ensure a stable supply of oil in a timely manner to meet growing demand. The deal helped raise oil prices above $80 a barrel and worked to limit the abundance of world oil supplies.

OPEC could decide to raise oil output in June to cool the market, and also because of fears over the supply of Iran and Venezuela supply, after Washington has expressed concerns that the rise in oil will go away.

In a related context, the new data on US oil inventories will be the main focus of oil markets next week, as market participants are trying to measure how fast domestic production rates will keep rising — especially as the US oil production is nearing the match of Russia’s highest output.

US crude oil production has risen to record levels since late last year. The Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that production jumped by 215,000 barrels per day to 10.47 million bpd, a new record.

The New York WTI crude futures fell below $66 a barrel on Friday, recording the lowest level since April 10 at $65.81 a barrel.

The US benchmark suffered a weekly loss of nearly 3%, the second weekly decline in a row.

In London, Brent crude futures fell 77 cents, or 1 percent, on Friday, to close at $76.79 a barrel.


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