Saudi Oil Minister Rules Out Possibility of Production Cuts

HOUSTON — Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister on Tuesday ruled out the possibility that a recently announced oil production freeze by several countries might lead to cuts to reverse the plunge in oil prices.

“There is no sense wasting our time seeking production cuts,” Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi told energy executives at the annual IHS CERAweek conference. “That will not happen.”

Mr. Naimi’s comments put further pressure on oil prices. The price of West Texas intermediate crude oil, the United States benchmark, turned sharply lower after his remarks and settled at $31.87, down more than 4 percent.

Mr. Naimi is widely considered the most influential voice in energy policy in Saudi Arabia, which dominates the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, so his words are followed closely and typically move both energy and equity markets.

In recent days, there had been the prospect that a recent announcement by Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar to cap production at January levels might herald new coordination among producing countries.

( Source )

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