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UAE optimistic about continued compliance to Opec deal

Inventory reductions seen this year will carry on in the first half of next year

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazroui expressed optimism about the continued compliance by oil producing countries for the output cut agreement and sees global oil inventories reducing further next year.

Opec and non-Opec members led by Russia are cutting production by about 1.8 million barrels per day to help lower global oil inventories and support prices. The agreement was to expire in March but has been extended till the end of 2018.

“I am optimistic about the continuing compliance [to the agreement]. We have seen in 2017, most of the countries have been committed and I don’t see any reason for them not to be committed,” said Al Mazroui speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

He also expressed optimism that the reductions in inventories seen this year will carry on in the first half of the next year.

“We will have much more correction towards balance of the five year average [in inventories] and we are also foreseeing healthy growth in demand next year. All those are good signs for us that will encourage more investors to come to the market.”

Speaking about last week’s Opec meeting in Vienna, he said more than 24 countries took part in the meeting and some of them were supportive of the agreement.

“I am hopeful during the course of the year that we can convince more countries to join us and we can carry on these relationships in one shape or another.”

Oil prices have been continuously rising in the last few weeks due to tightening of global oil markets and also due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. The global benchmark, brent is currently trading above $62 (Dh228) per barrel.