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Saudi sees No OPEC Change, Warns on Stocks: Report | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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VIENNA (Reuters) – OPEC is not expected to change production policy this week, the al-Hayat newspaper cited Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi as saying on Tuesday, adding that world stocks were still too high to consider lifting output.

“Naimi does not expect a change in the level of production,” the paper wrote as part of an interview with the minister, without providing a direct quote.

Naimi said at the weekend that OPEC would “probably stay the course,” and Algeria’s oil minister said all OPEC members agreed there was no need to cut output, although Libya’s top official said there was still the possibility of trimming output.

With oil prices having rebounded to a six-month high above $60 a barrel, most analysts expect OPEC to maintain its output curbs at Thursday’s meeting, although the group remains anxious over the state of swollen global inventories.

Naimi, OPEC’s most influential minister, signaled that the cartel would want to see world stocks — now swollen at around 61 to 62 days worth of global consumption — return to their historic range before considering loosening the taps.

“This (increasing output) will not happen before we are comfortable that world inventories are going down to their normal position,” he told the paper. “Now world stocks are about 61-62 days of consumption, we want them at 52-54 days.”

OPEC will concentrate on compliance and study the oil market and the global economy, the paper reported.

Naimi reiterated that the price that Saudi Arabia sees suitable to continue investment in the sector ranged between $75 and $80 a barrel, al-Hayat reported.

He said the latest run-up in oil price from a February low of $33 a barrel to Tuesday’s $61.50 was being aided by optimism of a recovery among traders, and a speculative play against the falling dollar, but he also saw some signs of demand improving.

“… Demand by the start of the third quarter (will) witness a recovery, what is needed is a recovery of the global economy and this is what we’re looking for,” he said.