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OPEC Can’t Cut Oil Supply, Said Former Saudi Energy Minister

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Ali Al-Naimi, former Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, stated that OPEC cannot solely decide to cut oil production for market stabilization.

Al-Naimi added during a London Chatham House event that he thinks OPEC should not cut oil supply by itself. Al-He was the one who led the policy allowing the member nations to pump oil whenever necessary a couple of years ago. Until he retired in May, he was the most influential oil official in the world.

According to Al-Naimi, the situation has changed as other producers, such as Russia, are willing to participate in coordinating oil cuts. This is despite his stand in November 2014 to continue pumping, which led to oil price plunge. He said if others will cooperate and deliver, then it is good.

On November 30 in Vienna, OPEC members will meet again in order to discuss possible oil supply reductions, which are the first in eight years after Algiers output was agreed to be halted by the end of September.

Oil dropped to its 12-year low, which is equivalent to $30 per barrel when OPEC and Saudi Arabia decided to boost their production. It is a high decline from mid-2014 price of over $100. Due to this incident, companies were forced to cut down investments and cut operational costs. From Nigeria to Russia, economies were affected badly.

Al-Naimi’s memoir, “Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil”, provides a warning about non-OPEC producers’ contribution, such as Russia. According to what is written, one of the former energy ministers’ aides asked him the probability of leading non-OPEC producers in cutting oil supply, which includes Mexico, Norway, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Al-Naimi wrote that he held up his right hand and made the zero sign.

Khalid Al-Falih, Al-Naimi’s replacement, is standing on a different view for Saudi Arabia, which is to reduce oil production. This is irrespective of Iran’s lack of cooperation. The empire is even convincing non-OPEC countries like Russia to cut supplies.

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