Oman to attend OPEC meeting on November 30, supports oil cuts extension

Muscat - 

Oman, the largest crude oil exporter outside OPEC, on Tuesday confirmed it will be participating in the upcoming meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on November 30 to discuss further measures to support global oil prices.

“I am going to attend the meeting end of November in Vienna,” H E Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi, Minister of Oil and Gas, said.

H E Rumhi was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a signing ceremony of exploration and production sharing agreements for four Omani oil blocks at the Ministry of Oil and Gas.

OPEC members and other major oil producers are expected to decide at their November 30 meeting whether or not to extend the oil production cuts beyond March 2018. A number of oil producing nations recently indicated OPEC would continue to support prices through production cuts till the end of 2018.

“There is a consensus among OPEC members to extend the production cuts agreement till the end of next year. So we will continue to maintain the same level of production for the next year,” H E Rumhi said.

Oman has been an active participant in the committee constituted by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to oversee the compliance of agreed cuts in their outputs.

On whether Oman will continue to be a member of compliance committee to oversee output cuts, H E Rumhi said, “The agreement that we signed will end in November but was recently extended till March 2018. OPEC may propose to change committees, but I am not sure. We are ready to serve and support this initiative whatever it takes.”

Since the beginning of the talks between oil producers about output reduction amid weak oil prices, Oman has been one of the staunch supporters for production cuts to arrest the fall in crude prices.

The sultanate had agreed to cut its oil output by around 45,000 barrels per day to comply with an accord signed between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Before slashing its production as part of the agreement, Oman was producing nearly a million barrels per day.

On possibility of deeper production cuts to support oil price, H E Rumhi said, “I don’t think OPEC members will agree to further cuts in production.”

Though Oman agreed to cut its production, the country has continuously been investing in exploration and production activities and would continue to do so next year also, H E Rumhi added.

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