Falih: Global oil market at end of downturn
19 Oct 2016 - 22:56
LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister gave an upbeat message to an audience of industry executives yesterday, saying the oil market was at the end of a downturn and producer action to limit supply would help it improve further.
Khalid Al Falih (pictured) also told the annual Oil and Money conference in London that non-Opec countries were showing a willingness to freeze and even cut supplies alongside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“Market forces are clearly working after a testing period of sub-$30 prices. The fundamentals are improving and the market is clearly balancing the supply and demand equation,” Falih said.
“With this contribution of improving fundamentals, rebalancing and the joint action by Opec and non-Opec alike, I fully expect market conditions to continue improving.”
Oil prices went up yesterday. West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose $1.44 to $51.73 a barrel at 11:15am on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for December settlement rose $1.24 to $52.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange.
Appointed as energy minister for the top Opec oil producer and world’s biggest exporter earlier this year, Falih has overseen a return by the group to managing supply.
Opec agreed in Algiers on Sept. 28 to reduce production to a range of 32.50 million to 33.0 million barrels per day, which would be its first output cut since 2008. Another meeting on Nov. 30 is set to firm up details of the accord. Falih said that by freezing production or slightly reducing it, Opec wanted to signal to the market that it wanted to lower inventories and encourage investment. Spending has fallen due to the price drop, raising concern about supply in the medium term.