OPEC's next planned meeting in June will be a chance to review its oil production cut agreement, but the producer group will continue with cuts through 2018, Kuwait's oil minister Bakheet al-Rashidi said Monday.
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While it will be discussed in June, a decision on whether to extend the deal into 2019, would be taken later this year, Rashidi told journalists on the sidelines of the Kuwait Oil and Gas Summit.
OPEC, which along with 10 non-OPEC allies led by Russia, is in the midst of a 1.8 million b/d production cut agreement, aimed at drawing down crude oil inventory levels and creating market stability, so that upstream investment can occur to meet the projected increases in demand.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are leading discussions on extending the OPEC/non-OPEC coalition's alliance.
OPEC secretary general Mohammed Barkindo, who was speaking at the same event, added that OECD commercial crude oil inventories had fallen to less than 50 million barrels over the five-year average, compared to around 340 million barrels in 2014. This trend was expected to continue in the coming months, he added.
Oman's oil minister Mohammed al-Rumhy, who signed up to the cuts as a non-OPEC producer, warned that the group should not consider its job done yet.
"We have not reached the steady state conditions yet and the game is not over. The uncertainty monkey is still on our shoulder and it's not the time to offload that," he said at the same conference.