OPEC and the non-OPEC producers that are part of the production cut deal may consider deepening the output cuts at the cartel’s next meeting in Vienna in November, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.
“If for whatever reason we need to do more we will consider doing more. I’ve said that before that we will do whatever is necessary, including extensions, including deeper cuts,” TASS quoted al-Falih as saying.
The Saudi minister reiterated OPEC’s goal to draw inventories down to the industry’s five-year average.
“Let’s monitor how close we are, what the trajectory is, and based on that we will decide,” al-Falih told TASS.
Asked about the possibility to deepen the cuts in November, Saudi Arabia’s top oilman said:
“Nothing is off the table.”
But on the other hand, al-Falih said that nothing is up for discussion now.
“We just made a deal, all countries hopefully will meet their commitments, and they’re doing that,” he told the Russian news agency.
Al-Falih has often reiterated that Saudi Arabia, as OPEC’s biggest producer and de facto leader, will do “whatever it takes” to reduce the global oversupply.
However, OPEC’s decision from last week to roll over the cuts as-is until March 2018 was not seen by the market as doing “whatever it takes”, as investors were looking for stronger commitment, such as deeper cuts or a longer period of extension, and oil prices plunged 5 percent following the announcement of the deal.
After the deal was extended, the possibility of steeper cuts was also aired by Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who said on the day after the extension was sealed that deeper cuts are not out of the question.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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