Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih talks during the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
BAKU - 18 March 2019: OPEC and its non-OPEC partners need to reconsider if there is a need for a meeting in April, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Monday, adding that there was no pressure from the United States to increase supply.
“We are not under pressure except by the market,” Khalid al-Falih told reporters ahead of a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
“As long as the levels of inventories are rising and we are far from normal levels, we will stay the course guiding the market towards balance.”
The JMMC includes major oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia and monitors the oil market and conformity levels with supply cuts.
“There is a consensus that has also emerged that no matter what, we should stay the course until the end of June.”
Asked whether he was updated on whether the United States administration would extend the waivers it granted to buyers of Iranian crude, which are due to end in May, Falih said: “Until we see it hurting consumers, until we see the impact on inventory, we are not going to change course.”
The oil producers are due to meet next in April in Vienna, but Falih said this may not happen.
“The consensus we heard ... is that April will be premature to make any production decision for the second half,” Falih said.
“We may not have a meeting in April,” he said, adding that the JMMC may recommend this later on Monday.