OPEC with others to stabilize market, Saudi oil minister says

Saudi Arabia is working with other OPEC members and producers from outside the group to stabilize the market, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said.

The world economy is going through an unstable situation, al-Naimi said. Crude demand is expected to rise by 1 MMbpd every year in this decade, and the world requires more investments in oil to compensate for decline rates, he said. The decline rate of recovery at the world’s oil fields is at about 4 MMbpd, he said.

“Saudi Arabia is a very reliable supplier. We cooperate with OPEC and non-OPEC countries to stabilize the market,” al-Naimi said at a conference in Manama, Bahrain. “We need billions of dollars to continue exploration and producing oil and to invest in spare capacity to stabilize the market.”

Threatened by surging production mainly from North America and Russia, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been pumping above its quota for 17 months as it seeks to take market share from higher-cost regions. Oil tumbled since the middle of last year as U.S. stockpiles and production expanded, creating a global oversupply.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, led OPEC to reject demands from members including Algeria and Venezuela to cut supply to bolster prices. The group opted to maintain its production target to protect market share at the last meeting in June. OPEC ministers are due to meet Dec. 4 to assess the market and decide on production levels.

Arab countries hold 57% of the world’s oil reserves, and that will grow on new discoveries, al-Naimi said. Arab countries need $700 billion of energy investments over the next 10 years, and oil consumption in the region is about 10% of the world’s demand, he said.

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