Saudi signals OPEC may need to extend oil cuts until end-2019

BAKU (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Sunday OPEC’s job in rebalancing the oil market was far from done as global inventories were still rising despite harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, signaling it may need to expand output cuts into the second half of 2019. Russia, which is cutting oil output in tandem with OPEC, also said production cuts would stay in place at least until June, when Washington’s next steps on reducing Iran’s and Venezuela’s oil exports become clearer. The United States has been increasing its own oil exports steeply in recent months while imposing sanctions on Venezuela and Iran to reduce their shipments to global markets. Washington’s policies have introduced a new level of uncertainty for OPEC as it struggles to predict the balance of global supply and demand. “My assessment is that the job still remains ahead of us… We are still seeing inventory builds… We need to stay the course certainly until June,” Saudi energy minister Khalid al Falih said on Sunday. “We like to remain ready to continue monitoring supply and demand and do what we have to do in the second half,” said Falih as some OPEC ministers met in the Azeri… continue reading

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