Oil production cuts might not be needed, as prices stabilise

Oil production cuts might not be needed, as prices stabilise
Oil producers might not need to cut production beyond March if all OPEC members fully comply with their output pledges, a Kuwaiti minister has claimed.
2 min read
16 October, 2017
A historic deal was struck to cut oil production a year ago [AFP]
An extension of production cuts might not be needed if Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stick to oil output pledges, Kuwait's oil minister said.

"The current reduction deal is sufficient to achieve the desired purpose" of rebalancing the oil market, Essam al-Marzouk told reporters after opening an oil conference.

Although "the compliance level to the cuts has reached an unprecedented 116 percent", this was mainly due to the fact that some countries were making higher cuts than pledged.

"Our focus now is centred on making all member states fully comply with the cuts to reach an even better percentage and therefore not need a new extension," Marzouk said.

Marzouk - who heads a joint ministerial committee monitoring compliance - said it was too early to say if a new extension was needed and that "OPEC will take a decision next month".

But the announcement will come as a relief to producers who have been struggling with years of low oil prices.

OPEC is holding a key ministerial meeting in Vienna on 30 November.

Members of the cartel and non-member producers struck a historic deal a year ago to cut crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months.

The deal was extended by nine months until March, which prompted a boost to oil prices to above $55 a barrel and reduced record high inventory levels.

In September, Saudi Arabia said it could extend oil supply cuts to force prices up, as the country struggles with a continued economic downturn.

After first trying to keep supplies steady to keep its market share despite the oil glut, it has recently tried to cut production as Saudi's economy faces an uncertain future.

Saudi Arabia has energy-reliant economy continues to struggle since oil prices tanked in 2014. 

Agencies contributed to this report.