Prince Abdulaziz: Oil market stability is reassuring

 Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said that he is glad to see the stability of the oil market.

“A stable market is something that reaches a level where things are stable and there is neither a big swing nor big fluctuations… and this is reassuring;” he said in an interview with Asharq Bloomberg news channel.

This came after addressing the opening session of the OPEC + Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee’s virtual meeting on Tuesday.

Unstable situation

“What disturbs any petroleum policy decision maker is excessive fluctuation … and the situation now is swinging… and therefore taking a position on the market situation now; from a professional point of view; is an incorrect thing … and it is wrong to say that the Kingdom takes decisions alone,” he said.

The minister said that the changes are very fast. “All options are on the table to deal with them, whether it is extending the current reduction; deepening it, or easing it,” he said.

“I ask everyone to be flexible; provided that there is agreement on something, taking into account of all the latest developments,” he added.

Prince Abdulaziz said the OPEC + meeting of Tuesday, was part of the monthly follow-up meetings pertaining to the production cut agreement.

Topics for discussion

“The monthly meetings aims to ensure the commitment of countries and follow up on market conditions,” he said.

“We give a vision of the market situation; and will discuss all aspects that warranted a collective action during the upcoming meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1,” he added.

In response to the reported failure to take a decision at Tuesday’s meeting, the minister said that there are many; who are wrong in their perception with regard to the work of the committee that met on Tuesday.

“It is a market watch committee and not a decision-making one. It gives general recommendations for the market’s position, and also reviews commitments,” he said.

Oil production cut

The minister said that the meeting discussed the tendency on the part of some countries, which exceed the target quotas outlined in the agreement to cut production, and these countries pledged to fully comply with the commitments during the next phase.

As for Saudi Arabia’s willingness to compensate for the failures of other countries in their compliance with the production cuts, the minister said: “This is a habit that has stopped forever.”

Referring to the results of the OPEC + production cut agreement, he said: “We all are proud of its results because of the quantity of crude that did not enter the market as a result of the agreement for 1.6 billion barrels and this figure was before adding the countries from outside OPEC + and if we enter that figure; it may reach 1.8 to 1.9 billion barrels,” he said.

In response to a question about the future decisions of OPEC +; Prince Abdulaziz said that the task of any Saudi oil minister would not be evident in the decision he will take … because things now change overnight and the situation changes quickly.

Referring to the announcement of a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic, he said it is an important topic.

The minister also referred to the growth of economies of some countries.

“There is economic growth in China and India; and in Asia in general… while in Europe there are some worries due to coronavirus; and the same is the case with the United States of America.”

Libya’s stance

Regarding the current situation in Libya; Prince Abdulaziz said: “Libya, along with some other countries, are not a part of the agreement due to the circumstances it was going through, and when Libya returns to levels before October 2018, then there will be talks,” he said.

In addition that Libya’s circumstances are now exceptional and it was not a party to this agreement.