Oil producers say they can ramp up output as needed to meet any shortages in global oil market
ALGIERS — Saudi Arabia and Russia signaled at a meeting of oil producers that they have the capacity to further ramp up production to match global supply disruptions, while keeping crude price steady, even as they deferred any concrete decisions on output levels to later this year.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries—de facto led by Saudi Arabia—and its allies led by Russia on Sunday reiterated plans to gradually continue raising crude production in line with a decision at the start of the summer. But the producers were vague on the full number of extra oil barrels they plan to supply to the market. The group said it would meet again in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 11 to further hammer out details.
After nearly two years of close coordination on crude-oil output, OPEC and Russia said supply and demand in the market had been sufficiently rebalanced.
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“We have achieved the objectives pretty much of what we set out in 2016,” Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said at the start of the gathering. “Markets are relatively balanced,” he added.
Falih also insisted that Saudi Arabia had enough spare oil capacity—around 1.5 million barrels a day—to meet any shortages in the global oil market. He added that the kingdom would increase output in October, in line with market needs. “Demand will be higher in October than September and it will be met 100%.”
The meeting comes amid growing risks to global supply, including from OPEC members Iran, Venezuela and Libya.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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