9-month OPEC+ extension most likely, says Al-Falih

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih. (REUTERS/File Photo)
Updated 30 June 2019

9-month OPEC+ extension most likely, says Al-Falih

  • A nine-month extension would mean the deal runs out in March 2020
  • Oil ministers from OPEC meet on Monday in Vienna, followed by talks with non-OPEC oil producers on Tuesday

VIENNA: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Sunday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia would most likely extend their oil output-cutting deal by nine months and that no deeper reductions were needed.

“I think most likely a nine-month extension,” Falih told reporters when asked about Saudi preferences.

Asked about a deeper cut, he said: “I don’t think the market needs that.”

“Demand is softening a little bit but I think it’s still healthy,” he said, adding that he expected the market to balance in the next six to nine months.

Russia has agreed with Saudi Arabia to extend the deal with OPEC, Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier, as oil prices come under renewed pressure from rising US supplies and a slowing global economy.

Demand is softening a little bit but I think it’s still healthy.

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi energy minister

Oil ministers from OPEC meet on Monday in Vienna, followed by talks with non-OPEC oil producers on Tuesday. 

The US, the world’s largest oil producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia, is not participating in the pact.

The UAE energy minister said on Sunday he hoped for a productive outcome from the Vienna meetings, according to his official Twitter account.

“Confident the alliance will reach a decision that will restore oil market balance,” Suhail bin Mohammed Al-Mazroui tweeted.

A nine-month extension would mean the deal runs out in March 2020. 

Russia’s consent means the so-called OPEC+ group may have a smooth meeting if OPEC’s third-largest producer Iran also endorses the arrangement.

New US sanctions on Iran have reduced its exports to a trickle as Washington seeks to change what it calls a “corrupt” regime in Tehran. 


Britain expects ‘very significant’ week for Brexit talks as clock ticks down

Updated 29 November 2020

Britain expects ‘very significant’ week for Brexit talks as clock ticks down

  • Despite missing several self-imposed deadlines, the negotiations have failed to bridge differences on competition policy and the distribution of fishing rights
  • Britain’s transitional EU exit agreement expires on Dec. 31, and Britain says it will not seek any extension

LONDON: Britain and the European Union are heading into a “very significant” week, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday, as talks over a trade deal enter their final days with serious differences yet to be resolved.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters in London that “works continue, even on Sunday” on his way to a negotiating session, as both sides look for a deal to prevent disruption to almost $1 trillion of trade at the end of December.
“This is a very significant week, the last real major week, subject to any further postponement... we’re down to really two basic issues,” Raab told the BBC.
Despite missing several self-imposed deadlines, the negotiations have failed to bridge differences on competition policy and the distribution of fishing rights.
But Britain’s transitional EU exit agreement — during which the bloc’s rules continue to apply — expires on Dec. 31, and Britain says it will not seek any extension. A deal would have to be ratified by both sides, leaving little time for new delay.
“The bottom line is... in the ordinary course of things we need to get a deal done over the next week or maybe another couple of days beyond that,” Raab told Times Radio in a separate interview.
Earlier, he had signalled some progress on the ‘level playing field’ provisions which look to ensure fair competition between Britain and the EU, and said fishing remained the most difficult issue to solve.
Despite accounting for 0.1% of the British economy, fishing rights have become a totemic issue for both sides. Britain has so far rejected EU proposals and remains adamant that as an independent nation it must have full control of its waters.
“The EU have just got to recognize the point of principle here,” Raab told Times Radio.