Saudi minister: oil production cuts may be extended if necessary

OPEC and its allies may prolong production cuts after they expire in June if the world’s crude inventories remain excessive, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said.

The curbs will be sustained if stockpiles are “still above the five-year average, if the markets are still not confident in the outlook, if we don’t see companies and investors feel good about the health of the global oil industry. We want to signal to them that we’re going to do what it takes to bring the industry back to a healthy situation,” Khalid Al-Falih said in a Bloomberg television interview.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on May 25 to decide whether to continue its production cuts, aimed at ending a slump that battered the economies of energy exporters around the world. The strategy is moving global markets in the “right direction” and fundamentals have improved considerably, Al-Falih said.

On November 30, 2016, OPEC countries agreed in Vienna on reducing oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day, with a daily cartel-wide cap standing at 32.5 million barrels. Non-OPEC countries agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels a day. Russia pledged to cut production by 300,000 barrels daily.

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