UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazroui. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Montreal: Suhail Bin Mohammad Al Mazroui, UAE Energy Minister, said on Tuesday that OPEC members are close to reaching an agreement on extending production cuts.

Speaking at the International Economic Forum of the Americas, Al Mazroui said that given existing oil inventories the output curbs should remain in place or be extended “at least until the end of the year.” The “right decision will be a rollover,” he said, noting he favours continuing the curbs.

OPEC and producer allies including Russia last year agreed to cut their output beginning on January 1 to avoid a supply glut.

The agreement was to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months using October production as a baseline.

Even as OPEC and allies reduce output, US shale output has continued to rise and some analysts predict weaker economic growth will reduce oil demand. US shale producers this month will add 83,000 bpd, hitting 8.49 million bpd, the Energy Information Administration said in May.

“I think the demand for oil will remain solid in 2020,” Al Mazroui said later in an interview on the sidelines of the economic forum.