x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

‘We will ensure market is well supplied’ says UAE Energy Minister

Opec’s current crude production is “adequate to the market”, said Suhail Al Mazrouei.

Opec’s current crude production is “adequate to the market” and there is no talk of the cartel changing its output target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) when it meets in December, said Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy.

Opec, which pumps more than a third of the world’s oil, meets on December 4 in Vienna to decide whether to adjust its output target.

“There is no sign or something that we can tell you today to say we are increasing or decreasing the quota,” Mr Al Mazrouei told Reuters in an interview, referring to the December meeting.

“But what is certain is we will ensure the market is well supplied,” he said yesterday in the city of Daegu, about 300km south-east of the South Korean capital Seoul and the venue of this week’s World Energy Congress.

The UAE produced 2.7 million to 2.8 million bpd of crude last month, Mr Al Mazrouei said, but he declined to reveal this month’s production level.

Opec’s September output was the lowest since October 2011, when the group pumped 29.81 million bpd, according to Reuters surveys, and leaves supply a mere 70,000 bpd above its output target of 30 million bpd.

Opec again lowered the forecast demand for its crude in the fourth quarter and 2014 in a monthly report last week, saying its production remained higher than next year’s demand for its oil despite a plunge in Iraqi and Libyan output.

Asked about the current level of oil prices, Mr Al Mazrouei said around $100 a barrel was “fair and sustainable” for producers, and it did not harm the market.

Brent crude rose above US$117 in August on the disruption of Libyan supply and the prospect of US military action against Syria. In the past four weeks it has ranged between $107 and $112 a barrel.