Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday the oil market is “on the right track” and will quickly return to balance, but oil producers are willing to do more if needed.
“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,” said Falih, addressing an oil conference in Abu Dhabi.
The Saudi minister also said US shale oil extraction will not lead to market weakness, Al Arabiya news channel reported.
US crude oil output hit an all-time high of more than 11.5 million barrels per day in October, according to government data released last month.
“If we find that more needs to be done, we will do so in unison with our OPEC and non-OPEC partners where collaboration is essential too,” he added.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and other leading global oil producers led by Russia, agreed in December to cut their combined oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day starting from January to prevent a supply glut and boost sagging prices.
Al-Faleh said that secondary sources indicate that OPEC production in December is lower than in November, by 600 thousand barrels per day.
Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose by 40,000 barrels a day to 33.08 million barrels in November from a month earlier.
While stressing that demand for oil is still strong, he explained that “what we need to do is reduce the range of volatility in oil prices.”
Al-Falih said that Saudi Arabia will maintain its policy of having sufficient spare oil capacity to stabilize the market.
Later told reporters that he sees no need for an extraordinary OPEC meeting before April, when the group is set to decide its output policy for the rest of 2019.