US not in a position to tell us what to do, says Saudi Arabia on oil price cut

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Vienna, Austria Dec 06, 2018, 06.40 PM (IST)

In a move aimed at President Trump, Saudi Arabia's oil minister said the US should not try to dictate policy to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC.

President Trump in a tweet on Wednesday had said the world does not want to see, or need higher oil prices. 

OPEC ministers are meeting on Vienna today to evolve a consensus to reach oil production cuts after global oil prices fell sharply in November, however, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al Falih said his country does not need anyone's permission to cut production.

"We don't need permission from anyone to cut," Khalid Al-Falih said ahead of the OPEC meeting, adding,"the US is not in a position to tell us what to do."

The Saudi oil minister, however, added that he was looking at "sufficient cut to balance the market, equally distributed between countries".

OPEC is trying to convince Russia, a non-OPEC member to cut production in order to keep oil prices steady.  Oman's oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad had said earlier that Russia had agreed to cut production but Kremlin hasn't confirmed it yet.

President Putin had earlier said he was comfortable with oil prices at $60 a barrel. 

Saudi Arabia wants to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day after a glut in the market led to oil prices crashing from over $80 a barrel in October to below $60 through in November. OPEC's daily output stood at 32.99 million barrels in October, according to the International Energy Agency.

Brent oil prices sank under $60 on after Saudi Arabia made remarks that were deemed overly cautious by analysts ahead of OPEC's latest output decision. London's Brent North Sea oil sank $2.94 to $58.62 per barrel. 

OPEC's third-biggest producer Iran wants to be exempted from any output cuts. Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said: "The Islamic republic doesn't join any agreement for cutting production because of the special situation Iran faces," referring to US oil sanctions on Iran.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States are the major crude oil producing nations in the world with the US not part of any oil cartel due to its stringent anti-trust legislation. 

Russian officials are due to meet OPEC members on Friday for a final call on production with analysts speculating that Saudi Arabia may go in for a "quite cut" to assuage its domestic economy.