Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Saudi oil minister says no OPEC+ output policy change until June

Saudi oil minister says no OPEC+ output policy change until June

For Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, Mr. Falih said output in April was expected to remain at this month's level of 9.8 million bpd.

The so-called OPEC+ alliance, including Russian Federation and other producers, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from 1 January for six months, which will help to boost oil prices after last year's downward trend.

"Annual gains will boost the United States to levels never seen in any country, in excess of maximum capacity in both Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia", said the IEA in its five-year.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose by $0.57 to $67.15 a barrel at 1305 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $56.87 a barrel.

India is seeking investment from Saudi Arabia to build emergency crude reserves that will act as a buffer against volatility in oil prices and supply disruptions for the third-largest oil consumer.

On Jan. 1, OPEC+ began new production cuts to avoid a supply glut that threatened to soften prices.

According to an annual five-year outlook report by the International Energy Agency, the USA became the world's top oil producer in 2018, and is set to become the world's biggest oil exporter over the next five years.

Riyadh has voluntarily cut its supply by more than the deal requires and in April will keep output "well below" 10 million bpd, the Saudi official said - less than the 10.311 million bpd that the kingdom had agreed to pump.

India has raised concerns about the rising price of crude oil during a meeting with Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, Khalid A Al-Falih.

The United Arab Emirates in February exceeded its OPEC target for oil output cuts, achieving 119 percent of its goal, the country's energy minister said on Tuesday at an energy conference.

Venezuela's opposition-run congress on Monday declared a "state of alarm" over a five-day power blackout that has crippled the country's oil exports and left millions of citizens scrambling to find food and water.

In additional to the pledged output reduction, the crude oil markets have been getting an additional boost from the USA sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

In the near term, the latest reports on USA inventories are expected to show a rise in crude stocks.

The story that has been underpinning prices is the OPEC-led supply cuts that have been trimming about 1.2 million barrels per day since January 1.

The IEA's forecast came just a few weeks after the USA exported a record 3.6 million barrels of crude oil on a daily basis, with the country being also a major exporter of petroleum products including refined fuels.

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