OPEC Signals 'Wait And See' Approach Could Last A Year


DOHA, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Core Gulf OPEC oil producers signalled this week they are prepared to wait as long as six months to a year to see the market stabilise, quashing hopes for any quick intervention to stop the price rout that took crude to under $60 per barrel.

Some OPEC watchers had identified $60 as a potential red line at which the group, which produces a third of global oil, was expected to send a signal to the market that the decline had been too fast and too steep.

But with Brent oil futures trading below that - down a fifth since the OPEC meeting just three weeks ago -- some ministers are saying they see no reason for action at any price level.

Some OPEC ministers say the industry should look for other signals that prices had bottomed.

OPEC itself is struggling to predict what those signals could be -- a total saturation of global stocks, a bankruptcy of a large oil company or a call from Moscow saying Russia is ready to join output cuts.

"The market takes time, it's like a big gigantic ship," Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, oil minister of the United Arab Emirates, a close ally of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, said on Monday.

"If the market takes 3 month, 6 month, a year to balance and then that would help all of us because we will all have a more mature stabilised market. Then (so) be it."


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