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Oil nations to do 'whatever necessary' to balance market: UAE

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Sep 08, 2019, 05.18 PM (IST)

Oil producers will do "whatever necessary" to rebalance a crude market depressed by trade tensions and an uncertain global outlook, the United Arab Emirates' energy minister said Sunday.

Suheil al-Mazrouei warned however that with the US-China trade row hanging over the world economy, additional output cuts may not be the best way to boost sagging prices.

Deeper production cuts are "not a decision that we take easily," the minister said ahead of the four-day World Energy Congress starting Monday in Abu Dhabi, where a key meeting of oil ministers will also be held on Thursday.

Mazrouei told a press conference that oil producers were affected by "other concerns" apart from supply and demand.

"Anything that the group sees that will balance the market, we are committed to discuss it and hopefully go and do whatever necessary," he said.

"But I wouldn't suggest to jump to cuts every time that we have an issue on trade tensions."

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), created by an alliance of OPEC oil cartel members and other crude exporters, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to assess the oil market.

European benchmark Brent was selling at $61.54 per barrel on Friday, down from more than $75 this time last year.

OPEC+, dominated by the cartel's kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC production giant Russia, has resorted to massive production cuts to lift prices since the oil market crash in mid-2014.

In June, the group extended by nine months an earlier reduction of 1.2 million barrels per day, but the move has failed to arrest the price decline in light of a faltering global economy.

The one-day JMMC meeting is not set to make decisions but will assess the market and make recommendations to the next full ministerial meeting, to be held in December.

Mazrouei noted that the usual levers to control prices seemed to be having little effect.

The oil market is being affected by factors beyond "supply and demand... which is the main thing that we can control," he said.

Story highlights

Suheil al-Mazrouei warned however that with the US-China trade row hanging over the world economy, additional output cuts may not be the best way to boost sagging prices