Saudi Oil Minister: Russia Key to Stable Prices
Four non-OPEC producers have agreed to reduce oil supplies to help the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries bolster sagging oil prices. However, Russia remains the key to price stabilization, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Wednesday, as quoted by Dow Jones Newswires.
Russia has agreed to cut its output by 30,000 barrels-a-day, a level that Naimi called "disappointing."
"Thirty thousands barrels-a-day would disappoint anyone," Naimi said.
OPEC has received positive comments from non-OPEC Mexico, Norway, Angola and Oman, said the news service.
However, Russia, which has the second largest crude production capacity, behind Saudi Arabia, is the key to OPEC's efforts to stabilize oil prices, Naimi said.
He said cooperation from non-OPEC producers is "absolutely necessary" to bring oil prices to $20/bbl.
The price of oil fell sharply on Wednesday as OPEC energy chiefs meeting in Vienna struggled to hold their grip on prices after key non-OPEC producers shunned calls for them to scale down production, reported AFP.
Benchmark Brent North Sea crude for December delivery slumped 79 cents to 20.02 dollars in early trade.
In New York, December-dated light sweet crude futures jumped 44 cents to 21.67 dollars overnight, boosted by news the United States planned to increase its strategic reserves by 28 percent.
But support waned after oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) admitted the output cutback they were readying might have little impact without support from key non-OPEC producers such as Russia and Norway, according to the agency.
OPEC was expected to slash output by up to 1.5 million barrels a day later Wednesday.
But OPEC producers, notably Iran -- the second-biggest OPEC producer -- and Kuwait have signaled that they might not even back a cut without a corresponding move by major non-OPEC producer Russia.
"I would not support a cut," Kuwaiti Oil Minister Adel Al Subeih said in Vienna when asked if OPEC should pare production if Russia does not cut by a proportionate amount – Albawaba.com
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