BUSINESS

Oil market headed for balance: Falih

April 08, 2019
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaks during the inaugural Gulf Intelligence Saudi Arabia Energy Forum at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh on Monday. — AFP
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaks during the inaugural Gulf Intelligence Saudi Arabia Energy Forum at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh on Monday. — AFP

Riyadh — Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih said on Monday the oil market was "moving towards balance", and that producers may not need to make additional output cuts.

"I don't think we will need (to do more) ... the market is on its way towards balance. We have done a lot more than others," he added, referring to the possibility of Saudi Arabia cutting output further below its target under the global deal.

"We are getting to a stage where inventories are starting to stabilise and come down but still significantly above what I would consider a normal level."

As oil prices hit a five-month high at more than $70 a barrel, Falih told a conference in Riyadh that non-OPEC member Russia and other countries have met their production cut obligations.

He said it was premature to say whether a consensus existed among OPEC and its allies to extend oil supply cuts but a meeting next month would be key.

"JMMC will be a key decision point because we will certainly by then know where the consensus view is and, more importantly, before we ask for consensus, we will know where the fundamentals are pointing," said Falih.

"I think May is going to be key," he added.

Falih also told reporters that there was no change to the Kingdom's policy of trading oil in US dollars.

"Absolutely not. There is no change whatsoever to our long-standing policy," he said.

The energy minister said a bond sale by Saudi Aramco to raise $10 billion toward its purchase of a controlling stake in chemicals behemoth SABIC closes Wednesday.

He said international investors had so far made bids totaling three times the value of the bonds. — Agencies

"The bond issue is at a very critical stage. The roadshow is ongoing (and) the deal will close on Wednesday," said Falih, who is also chairman of state-owned Aramco, the world's largest energy company. — Agencies


April 08, 2019
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