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OPEC to discuss extending cuts, quotas – UAE minister

OPEC will discuss extending production cuts that have boosted oil prices and imposing output quotas on all cartel members at a November meeting in Vienna, an Emirati minister said Monday.


United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suheil al-Mazrouei said the oil market had rebalanced after OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to cut output in a historic deal last year.

The deal has boosted prices, which currently hover at around $55 a barrel, the minister said.

“The next OPEC meeting will discuss whether there will be a need to extend the output cuts deal and for how long,” Mazrouei told reporters.

Major crude producers — OPEC and non-OPEC countries — agreed late last year to cut production by about 1.8 million barrels per day for six months.

The agreement was then extended for an additional nine months until March 2018.

“The meeting will also discuss adding new producers to the cuts deal,” the minister said.

Mazrouei said OPEC will also discuss imposing the quota system to countries that have so far been exempted.

OPEC members Libya, Iran and Nigeria have been spared in the current deal.

He said the United Arab Emirates, OPEC’s fourth largest producer with around 2.7 million barrels per day, has “cut 10 percent of its production in the past two months” and is prepared to do more to boost the market.

The oil market is rebalancing as inventory levels are dropping and the number of drilling rigs is falling, Mazrouei said.

But inventory levels have not reached the average of the past five years, he said.

Oil prices collapsed starting in mid-2014 as a result of a production glut and weak demand.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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