Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali Al-Naimi says that OPEC could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board had not worked.
DUBAI, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said on Thursday that OPEC could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board had not worked.
Ali al-Naimi said it was impossible for OPEC to cut alone to reverse the oil price slump -- which he called temporary -- when others were pumping more, saying that could lead to losing market share and with no guarantee of supporting prices.
Officials and executives from non-OPEC Russia and Mexico travelled to Vienna last month ahead of OPEC's meeting, with some in the group hoping they would cooperate in output cuts.
Naimi has stayed tightlipped, saying only he had no expectations after meeting them in a Vienna hotel, and that he had not initiated it. OPEC decided not to cut at its meeting.
On Thursday, Naimi told Saudi state news agency SPA that OPEC sought last month, as on past occasions, cooperation from other non-OPEC oil producers but "those efforts were not successful."
Russia has said it would not cut production even if oil prices fell below $60 per barrel - far below some $100 a barrel it needs to balance its budget.
Brent edged up slightly to near $63 a barrel on Thursday - but was still over 40 percent down from this year's peaks in June.
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