ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The energy minister for the United Arab Emirates said Tuesday there are no plans for OPEC to curb production to shore up falling crude prices, and instead put the onus on shale oil drillers for oversupplying the market.
Oil prices have lost well over half their value since late June, with benchmark U.S. crude trading below $45 a barrel.
OPEC, which includes the Emirates, decided at its last meeting in November to keep production levels unchanged, despite calls from some from within the 12-member bloc to curb output to boost prices. The position of the cartel's Arab Gulf producers is that scaling back production would only erode their market share and benefit rivals, such as shale drillers in the U.S.
"I think the strategy will not change," Emirati Energy Minister Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui told the Gulf Intelligence energy conference in Abu Dhabi.
"By not panicking and readjusting or cutting the output from the OPEC countries, we are telling the market and the other producers that they need to be rational. They need to be like OPEC," he said. "They need to look at growth in the international market for oil and they need to cater the additional production for that growth."
He said that if OPEC were to cut output by a million or more barrels per day, the gap in the market would have been filled by shale oil drillers "in a few months."
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile warned that OPEC's largest producer Saudi Arabia would suffer from the price drops and come to "regret it."
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