Kuwait next to back oil production cap extension

Saudi Arabia and Russia announced Monday they backed extending the deal to March 2018.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  May 16, 2017 at 10:01 AM
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May 16 (UPI) -- Kuwait is in full support of extending a multilateral crude oil production cap into the early part of next year, the country's oil minister said Tuesday.

According to the official Kuwait News Agency, known also as KUNA, Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq "affirmed full support of the joint position" taken by Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend the agreement to March 31.

"This agreement aims to rebalance the global supply and demand by restoring the level of world oil reserve to the rate of the past five years," the report cited the minister as saying.

Saudi Arabia is the largest contributor among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to an agreement to balance an oversupplied market with managed production declines. Russia is the largest contributor among non-OPEC members.

According to estimates from global pricing company S&P Global Platts, Kuwaiti crude oil producing has been relatively stable. Saudi Arabian production in April average 9.97 million barrels per day, almost 1 percent below its quota under the multilateral deal.

The Kuwaiti minister said there were already positive signs emerging to support stronger crude oil prices, days before parties to the agreement meet in Vienna to consider a formal extension.

The initial terms of the deal called for a production gap through the first six months of the year with the option for another six-month extension based on market considerations.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was around $52 per barrel in early Tuesday trading, up more than 10 percent from last week. Crude oil prices moved below $50 per barrel in late April on signs the designed balance envisioned by production cuts was slow to materialize.

Brent crude is still about $3 per barrel below where it started the year and about 7 percent below the late February peak.

A report published Tuesday by the International Energy Agency found the global market for oil was "almost balanced."

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