OPEC hasn’t run out of ideas, Saudi energy minister insists

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OPEC and its allied oil-producing nations are still working well together and still have options to try to rebalance global crude markets, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Tuesday.

“We do communicate with each other, we use every opportunity to talk with each other,” he said, speaking to reporters at the ICCUS conference in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“We did not run out of ideas, we haven’t lost our phones and there are always good ways of communicating through conference calls and technology is very helpful.”

His comments came amid speculation that there is tension in the alliance, known as OPEC+, over whether to cut oil production further. Prices continue to be weighed on by ample supply and falling demand and, lately, fears surrounding the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy.

Prince Abdulaziz insisted that the producer countries in the alliance communicate and he was “confident of our partnership,” adding that every producer was a “responsible” one.

OPEC and its non-OPEC allies, led by Russia, will meet in Vienna on March 5-6 but there is uncertainty over whether the entire group will agree to cut their collective oil output further with rumors that Russia is still undecided. As it stands, the alliance has reduced its total oil output by 1.7 million barrels a day in a bid to stabilize oil prices.

Saudi Arabia’s new Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman takes a tour at the exhibition during the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates September 9, 2019.

REUTERS | Satish Kumar | File Photo

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