Saudi, UAE see sufficient oil supplies, rising stocks

21 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

JEDDAH: Oil supplies were sufficient and stockpiles were still rising despite massive output drops from Iran and Venezuela, said OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and key producer UAE on Sunday, as oil exporters met in Jeddah.

Producer nations discussed how to stabilise a volatile oil market amid rising US-Iran tensions in the Gulf, which threaten to disrupt global supply, reports AFP.

But “we see that (oil) inventories are rising and supplies are plenty,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters at the start the meeting.

“None of us wants to see the (oil) stocks swell again,” he added, with

reference to a supply surplus that sent prices sharply lower in the second

half of last year.

“We have to be cautious,” Falih said.

The UAE’s energy minister said there was no need to relax a deal by the OPEC+ group of oil exporting countries to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day to support prices.

“We have seen inventory building. I don’t think it makes sense” to alter the existing deal, said Suheil al-Mazrouei.

At the end of the meeting, Falih told a news conference the OPEC+ nations were “unanimous in continuing to work to achieve stability between supply and demand”.

The meeting “affirmed its commitment to achieving a balanced market and working towards oil market stability,” said a statement issued at the end of the gathering.

The statement said member states’ conformity to production cuts hit a record 168 percent in April and an average of 120 percent since the start of the year.

The meeting comes days after sabotage attacks against tankers in highly sensitive Gulf waters and the bombing of a Saudi pipeline — the latter claimed by Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels.

But Falih reiterated Sunday that the kingdom’s oil installations were well protected.

“We have strong (oil) industry security”, he told reporters.

“Everybody is vulnerable to extreme acts of sabotage.”

The meeting also comes as the full impact of re-instated US sanctions against Iran kick in, slashing the Islamic republic’s crude exports.