Oil producers meet in Oman for critical production meeting

Oil producers meet in Oman for critical production meeting
Energy ministers from OPEC and non-members of the oil-producing cartel are meeting in Oman, to discuss a possible response to a surge in shale oil that threatens current high prices.
2 min read
21 January, 2018
OPEC and non-members met in Muscat to plan future production strategies [AFP]

Oil giants met in Oman's capital Sunday and agreed to preserve production cuts in 2018, to help balance a market still fragile to global economic trends and overheating.

Energy ministers from OPEC and non-member states agreed to restrain production over the coming year, arguing that cuts were still necessary to drain stockpiles. 

Some energy analysts have suggested continued cuts and higher demand could see the price of a barrel rising to over $100, after years of oversupply saw the price drop to lows of the mid-20s in 2015.

Saudi Arabia - which effectively leads the OPEC cartel - and energy giant Russia both agreed to continue with output restrictions and Riyadh called for other producers to cooperate.

"We should not limit our efforts to 2018. We need to be talking about a longer framework for our cooperation," Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh told reporters before the meeting.

The production cuts have seen the 330 million barrels stockpiled during an oil glut reduced by two thirds. But there were still some worrying signs for producers.

A report from the International Energy Agency on Friday said that higher oil prices have been a boon for shale oil producers in the US.

It predicted that the US would likely overtake Saudi Arabia, and possibly Russia, as the world's biggest oil producer over the next year.

A glut in the market led oil prices to plunge from 2014, most of it due to an oversupply by US shale oil producers.