Business

Oil producers to do 'whatever necessary' to rebalance crude market

DUBAI Oil producers will do "whatever necessary" to re-balance a market depressed by trade tensions and global uncertainty, the United Arab Emirates' Energy Minister said yesterday.

But Mr Suhail Al Mazrouei warned that with the US-China trade row hanging over the world economy, additional output cuts may not be the best way to boost sagging prices.

Deeper production cuts are "not a decision that we take easily," the minister said ahead of the four-day World Energy Congress starting today in Abu Dhabi, where a meeting of oil ministers will be held on Thursday.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and key non-Opec members want to halt a slide in prices that has continued despite previous production cuts and US sanctions that have squeezed supply from Iran and Venezuela.

Analysts say the Opec+ group's Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee has limited options when it meets on Thursday.

"Opec has traditionally resorted to production cuts to shore up the prices," said Mr M.R. Raghu, head of research at Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

"However, this has come at the cost of reduction in Opec's global crude market share," he said.

The 24-nation Opec+ group agreed to reduce output in December last year.

That came as a faltering global economy and a boom in US shale oil threatened to create a global glut in supply.

Previous supply cuts have mostly succeeded in bolstering prices. But this time, the market has continued to slide - even after Opec+ agreed in June to extend by nine months the earlier deal. - AFP

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