Saudi Arabia calls for caution in increasing oil production
At a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and cooperating oil states, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Abdalaziz bin Salman took a cautious stance on a possible increase in oil production.
Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the minister said that the tactics adopted by the cartel last month, ie to keep mining essentially unchanged, proved to be the right one, given the continuing uncertainty over the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, subsequent developments have shown that we are right,” he said.
Abdalaziz bin Salman said that “until the evidence of recovery is undeniable, we should maintain this cautious attitude … the waves are still high and the sea remains stormy”. He pointed to the continuing restrictions on activity in Europe, which is going through a new wave of infections due to the slow distribution of vaccines.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak used a more optimistic tone, saying that the situation had “improved” since the March meeting. However, Russia is usually pushing for higher levels of mining.
The OPEC conference with non-members, called OPEC Plus, has agreed to meet monthly to revisit the supply cuts of slightly more than 7 million barrels per day levied to limit the downturn in oil prices caused by the pandemic recession, which has reduced demand for crude. Furthermore, as part of its own unilateral cuts, Saudi Arabia has kept 1 million barrels a day off the market.
The price of light US oil on the New York Commodity Exchange before the OPEC meeting rose 1.7 percent to $ 60.30 per barrel. The price of North Sea Brent crude rose 1.8 percent to $ 63.89 a barrel.