Al-Falih responds to Trump tweet about high oil prices: ‘We are taking it easy’

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OPEC and its partners are “taking it easy,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday in an interview with CNBC, in response to a tweet from US President Donald Trump requesting oil producers ease their efforts to boost oil prices.

“We are taking it easy. The 25 countries are taking a very slow and measured approach. Just as the second half last year proved, we are interested in market stability first and foremost,” al-Falih said in Riyadh when asked to comment on Trump's tweet this week, CNBC reported.


Al-Falih said current analysis indicated OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, may need to extend their agreement to curb output until the end of 2019.

“All the outlooks that we have seen tell us that we will need to continue to moderate production in the second half of this year but you never know, those forecasts are based on certain assumptions,” Al-Falih said.

After OPEC and non-OPEC members had agreed in early December to trim production by 1.2 million barrels a day from January 1, al-Falih said it is difficult to predict an OPEC+ supply cut agreement extension now.

Al-Falih said in a speech that OPEC and non-OPEC members continue to play their role in balancing the oil market, but that sustaining this role requires timely investments, reliable supply, and appropriate spare capacity.

Oil and gas will continue to dominate the world energy scene for many decades and overall demand for energy will remain robust, al-Falih said.

He added that energy policies of many consuming countries undermine oil and gas development.

Additionally, Saudi Aramco is expanding domestic gas supplies and creating a leading international gas business, according to the energy minister, who is also the chairman of Saudi Aramco.

The minister added that oil inventories will respond to OPEC+ supply cuts "in due course," stating that they are committed to balancing the market.

- With Reuters

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