Kuwait Hints at New Timeline for Oil Cuts

OPEC and allied producers will consider extending an agreement to cut oil output into 2019 when they meet in June to assess the market, Kuwait Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rashidi said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other suppliers including Russia will discuss continuing the global production limits beyond the end of the year when they gather two months from now in Vienna, Al-Rashidi said. Kuwait is one of six countries responsible for monitoring compliance with the cuts accord that took effect in January 2017.


Bakheet Al-Rashidi

Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg

“In June, we will have a chance to meet and review the agreement,” Al-Rashidi told reporters in Kuwait City. “Market situations will determine if there will be a permanent agreement between OPEC and independent producers to enforce market stability.”

OPEC and its partners agreed in late 2016 to cut production and then extended the limits until the end of this year in a drive to clear a glut in crude inventories. Most of the excess supply has been eliminated after 15 months of output curbs, and inventories are on course to decline significantly in the second half of 2018, OPEC said last week in a monthly report.

Kuwait and other members of the joint ministerial monitoring committee –Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Venezuela, Russia and Oman — plan to meet later this week in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Some OPEC nations and their allies have suggested extending the output curbs beyond 2018 and up to the middle of next year, Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said last month in Baghdad.

There is still no decision on extending the cuts beyond 2018, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said at the same event in Kuwait City. Oil producers will continue discussing the market in June, and it will take time to complete an agreement on what to do beyond 2018, he said.

OPEC’s compliance with the cuts reached a record 164 percent in March compared with a revised 148 percent in February, according to Bloomberg calculations from the group’s preliminary, secondary-source estimates in OPEC’s monthly market report published April 12.

Compliance for the 10 non-OPEC nations in the deal rose to 85 percent last month from a revised 78 percent in February, according to Bloomberg calculations from preliminary International Energy Agency data on crude output.

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