Saudi Arabia to slash oil exports; Opec members back cut in supply
Khalid Al Falih says no consensus yet among oil producers about cutting production.
Abu Dhabi - Oil-producing countries yet to reach agreement on cutting output
Saudi Arabia said it will trim oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day in December, as major producers met on Sunday to consider cuts to shore up sagging prices.
"The kingdom's crude exports for December will be 500,000bpd lower than November," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih told reporters at the meeting in Abu Dhabi. The world's top oil exporter has been pumping 10.7 million bpd since October, he added.
Al Falih said oil-producing countries have not yet reached an agreement on cutting output, as major producers met in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. "There is no consensus yet among oil producers about cutting production," he said at the meeting of their Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee.
Saudi Arabia has increased output by just about 1 million bpd this year under pressure from US President Donald Trump and other consuming countries to help balance the market to compensate for lower supplies from Iran due to US sanctions.
UAE abides by Opec
The UAE will abide by any decision taken by the Opec about cutting the output, said Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, the UAE's Minister of Energy.
Abu Dhabi had earlier announced plan to increase output to four million bpd by 2020 and five million bpd by 2030.
Oman Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi said a majority of Opec and allied oil exporters support a cut in the global supply of crude. "Many of us share this view," the minister said when asked about the need for a cut.
Asked if it could amount to 500,000 or one million barrels per day, he replied: "I think it is unfair for me to throw numbers now."
"We need a consensus," he said, indicating that non-Opec Russia would need to approve any decision. Oman is also not a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
Saudi Arabia is discussing a proposal to cut oil output by up to one million barrels per day by Opec and its allies, two sources close to the discussions told Reuters on Sunday.
Russia - which last month pumped 11.4 million bpd, a post-Soviet record - signalled on Sunday it did not believe the oil market would face serious oversupply next year, a view that differs from that of Opec producer Saudi Arabia.
Russian energy minister Alexander Novak told reporters the market might face a certain seasonal oversupply in the next few months but by mid-2019 it should be balanced and demand may even exceed supply. Al Falih has said Opec may need to reduce production as oil markets could return to oversupply next year.
Venezuela is hoping to steeply raise oil output next year but will respect any new deal if Opec agrees to reduce output from December, Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo said on Sunday. The south American Opec nation's current oil output is 1.5 million barrels per day and it aims to increase that by one million bpd "soon", he told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
With inputs from AFP and Reuters