Oil market to reach balance this quarter

13 February 2019 | Ekonomie
DUBAI - The oil market should reach a balance between supply and demand in the first quarter of this year, UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told Al Arabiya television.

He said he was satisfied with the implementation of an agreement to cut supply by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia.

OPEC, Russia and other non-OPEC producers - an alliance known as OPEC+ - agreed to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from January 1.

Mazrouei said it was premature to discuss compensating crude output losses in some of the exporting countries.

Iran, Libya and Venezuela registered falls in output as a result of unrest and trade sanctions.

"Most OPEC and non-OPEC countries are doing their part" to balance the market, Mazrouei said separately, addressing a conference in Dubai.

He also called on the United States to increase the share of renewables and natural gas in its power mix, and reduce coal, to address climate change concerns.

Antitrust

Meanwhile OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said the exporting group was not in the business of fixing oil prices, when asked on Monday to comment on a US House committee passing a bill targeting OPEC oil supply cuts.

A US House of Representatives committee approved a bill on Thursday that would open up OPEC to antitrust lawsuits, but it was uncertain if the measure would be considered by the full chamber.

"OPEC is neither a cartel nor involved in the business of fixing oil prices," Barkindo told Reuters. "It would be a misjudgment to accuse us of such," he said on the sidelines of an energy forum in Cairo.

OPEC and OPEC+ are reducing oil output in 2019 to avoid a potential supply glut that could weigh on prices. A similar action in 2017 got rid of an earlier supply glut.

"OPEC is an open, transparent organisation focused on assisting the oil markets to remain in balance on a sustainable basis, which is a fundamental requirement of investors," Barkindo said.

"The international oil industry needs market stability to plan and invest in a predictable manner in order to guarantee future supplies." – Nampa/Reuters

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