Despite massive output drops from Iran and Venezuela, oil supplies were sufficient and stockpiles were still rising, said OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and key producer UAE at a meeting of oil exporters in Jeddah on Sunday.
Producer nations discussed how to stabilize a volatile oil market amid rising US-Iran tensions in the Gulf, which threaten to disrupt global supply.
But “we see that [oil] inventories are rising and supplies are plenty,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters at the start the meeting.
“None of us wants to see the [oil] stocks swell again,” he added, with reference to a supply surplus that sent prices sharply lower in the second half of last year.
“We have to be cautious.”
The UAE’s energy minister said there was no need to relax a deal by the OPEC+ group of oil exporting countries to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day to support prices.
“We have seen inventory building. I don’t think it makes sense” to alter the existing deal, said Suheil al-Mazrouei.
At the end of the meeting, Falih told a news conference that the OPEC+ nations were “unanimous in continuing to work to achieve stability between supply and demand.”
The meeting “affirmed its commitment to achieving a balanced market and working towards oil market stability,” said a statement issued at the end of the gathering.
The statement said member states’ conformity to production cuts hit a record 168% in April and an average of 120% since the start of the year.
The meeting comes days after sabotage attacks against tankers in highly sensitive Gulf waters and the bombing of a Saudi pipeline – the latter claimed by Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels.
But Falih reiterated Sunday that the kingdom’s oil installations were well protected.
“We have strong [oil] industry security,” he told reporters.
“Everybody is vulnerable to extreme acts of sabotage.”
The meeting also comes as the full impact of re-instated US sanctions against Iran kick in, slashing the Islamic republic’s crude exports.
– with reporting by AFP