More oil cuts not ruled out

Kingdom won’t take unilateral action

Saudi Minister of Energy, Industrial and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih

ENERGY Minister Khalid Al-Falih does not rule out another oil production cut but stressed that the Kingdom will not take any unilateral action, the Saudi-owned Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper reported on Friday.

The prospect of continued output cuts is on the table, and if any further action is needed, whether to extend or change production levels, it will be studied in a timely manner and agreed upon by all the producers, the paper cited Falih as saying.

On Thursday Falih had met his Iarqi counterpart Jabbar Al-Luaibi and agreed to strengthen their commitment to production cuts, as the oil grouping reported a collective increase in output last month in a setback for its deal to pump less.

The pledge from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the first and second largest OPEC producers, came after Falih and Al-Luaibi met in Jeddah.

Falih and Al-Luaibi also vowed to ensure coordination of their nations’ oil policies, according to the Saudi Press Agency, as the Arab neighbors seek to upgrade strategic ties.

Falih said Thursday that talks with his Iraqi counterpart stressed the need to strengthen commitment to a OPEC-led agreement to reduce crude output.

“The talks... came out with an agreement in the vision between the two countries aimed at ensuring the stability of world oil markets and consolidating the gains made in the recent period,” Falih said in a statement.

The talks focused on “the need to intensify efforts to urge all parties to strengthen their commitment to the agreement to reduce production, to maintain the balance of global energy markets.”

Falih, who is also the minister of industry and mineral resources, said the economic relationship between the two countries “will witness more cooperation in the field of trade exchange... and joint investments.”

Al-Luaibi also met with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, during his visit to Saudi Arabia, which started on Tuesday.