Saudi Arabia is not going to act alone to cut oil production to stabilize the market, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said as Nigeria and Russia added that it was too early to say whether they would join any production cuts or not. Oil cartel OPEC and its affiliated countries, most notably Russia, are to convene in Vienna next week as the global economy is slowing down and oil supplies from the United States are on rise. As oil prices fell below $60 a barrel, Saudis have decided to suggest major production cuts.
Yet, Riyadh has been urged by the White House not to curb output to keep oil prices low. As the Kingdom is trying to balance its position on production, the renewed pressure from the United States regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is complicating the matters. Donald Trump has decided to back Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite internal pressures from many US leaders to impose sanctions on the Kingdom. Mr. al-Falih met his Nigerian counterpart Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu in Abuja and there are signals from OPEC members Iraq and Libya as well that there is interest in restoring oil market stability.
“We are going to … do whatever is necessary, but only if we act together as a group of 25,” Mr. al-Falih said, referring to the group and its allies. “As Saudi Arabia, we cannot do it alone, we will not do it alone,” he pointed out and also noted that “everybody is longing (to) reach a decision that brings stability back to the market … I think people know that leaving the market to its own devices with no clarity and no collective decision to balance the market is not helping.”