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UAE Energy Minister: OPEC Nears Deal to Extend Production Cuts

UAE Energy Minister: OPEC Nears Deal to Extend Production Cuts

Thursday, 13 June, 2019 - 06:45
FILE PHOTO: UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui talks to reporters during the 15th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF15) in Algiers, Algeria September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are close to reaching an agreement on extending production cuts, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the International Economic Forum of the Americas, Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said that given existing oil inventories the output curbs should remain in place or be extended “at least until the end of the year.”

The “right decision will be a rollover,” said Mazroui, noting he favors continuing the curbs, Reuters reported.

OPEC and producer allies including Russia last year agreed to cut their output beginning on Jan. 1 to avoid a supply glut. The agreement was to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months using October production as a baseline.

In an interview on the sidelines of the economic forum, Mazroui said he expected demand for oil will stay bold for next year.

“I think the demand for oil will remain solid in 2020,” he said.

OPEC is currently scheduled to meet on June 25, followed by talks with its allies led by Russia on June 26. However, Russia suggested moving the meeting to July 3-4 and Riyadh supports the request, sources within the organization previously told Reuters.

According to Reuters, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh expressed in a letter his disagreement with an OPEC proposal to reschedule the group’s next meeting to early July.

“We are working the dates,” Mazroui told reporters later on the sidelines of the forum, emphasizing that he did not have a preference for June or July.

“To me it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“We’re talking about a separation of two weeks. The most important is what we know today and what we know today tells us that we need to extend, in my view,” Mazroui added.

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