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Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March

Riyadh

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said that international oil supply and demand will not be rebalanced by March, according to a new report by Reuters.

The current version of the deal by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to rebalance the oil market only lasts till March, so the cartel would have to agree on an extension during the November 30th summit to further the rebalancing act.

“We will decide in two weeks (on a possible extension). We’re in extensive consultations with all our colleagues around the world within and outside OPEC and we can’t make any statements at this stage until we get to Vienna in a couple weeks,” Falih said. “Everybody wants to call it the right way, but stay tuned and you’ll find out when I find out in Vienna.”

The OPEC countries and a slew of non-OPEC nations that are collaborating with the cartel are awaiting new production data from October to determine next steps.

“We will have better data in a couple of weeks, we’re waiting for October data to be fully developed and shared with the technical team,” Falih said. ”We’re also waiting for better projections of the fourth and first quarter which are typically lower demand and we will have picture of supply from sources that are not part of the deal. That will give us better predictions on when markets will balance as well as finishing the consultation.”

Asked whether Russia, which has vowed 300,000 bpd in cuts, was committed, Falih said: “I have had extensive consultations with my Russian colleagues and I will have some more in the next two weeks, but I know one thing is that the Russians are committed to working with Saudi Arabia and with the rest of the 24 countries that have come together last year.”

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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