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Kuwait urges cooperation from non-OPEC producers

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair urged non-OPEC crude producers to cooperate to help stabilize the oil market and prevent sharp fluctuations in prices, KUNA news agency said.
The minister called on producers from outside OPEC to “cooperate with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to guarantee stability of the market and prevent major swings in oil prices.”
He was speaking from Vienna, where on Thursday the 12-member OPEC decided to keep its production ceiling unchanged sending oil prices crashing.
Omair insisted the OPEC decision was “right” and the “best solution at the present time,” adding it was based on market information.
He said OPEC members agreed to hold their next meeting in June and decided against convening an emergency session unless necessary.
Global oil prices plunged Friday to new multi-year lows after the OPEC the decision despite an oversupplied market.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in January closed at $66.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $7.54 from the closing price Wednesday.
It was the lowest WTI close since September 2009.
Brent oil for January delivery sank below $70 for the first time in four and a half years, to $69.78 a barrel. Brent settled at $70.15 a barrel, down $2.43 from Thursday’s close.
Also on Saturday, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said OPEC’s decision to abstain from cuts in oil production has forced Russia not to proceed with its own cuts.
Oil prices have dived after the OPEC’s decision, reaching a new four-year low. North Sea Brent fell by $2.43, or 3.3 percent on the day, to $70.15 on Friday.
Russia is one of the world’s leading oil producers, with oil and natural gas sales representing half of its budget, which is balanced when oil is at $100. The fall in prices has hit hard Russia’s economy, already teetering on the brink of recession.
“The experts say that one of the main reasons behind the falling oil prices is that some Arab oil producing countries... are squeezing out shale oil from the international market,” Shuvalov told state-run TV Rossiya-1, according to TASS.
“If such actions are happening with the aim to fix or confirm one’s position on the market, we should not do anything at the moment to scale down our positions.”
Shale oil boom in the US, which is producing oil at the peak since 1986, has drastically changed the global oil market landscape and dampened prices.
Just two days prior to the OPEC meeting in Vienna, Russia sent its delegation, led by Igor Sechin, a long standing ally of President Vladimir Putin and head of Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft, to the Austrian capital for meetings with some OPEC members.
Shuvalov said, however, that Russia did not ask OPEC for production cuts.

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