By Gunay Camal
Kuwait wants the OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June, becoming the cartel's first member to call for more time to balance the global oil market as the effort that boosted prices initially on the curbs has faded.
U.S. inventories have climbed more than expected, causing prices to decline even as global producers cut their output, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq said, according to Bloomberg. Kuwait supports rolling over the oil cuts, though it’s too early for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree on an extension, he said.
“Kuwait supports the extension of the agreement after June,” Almarzooq said. An extension will ‘‘accelerate the rebalancing of the global oil market and will contribute to the return of prices to levels acceptable for producing countries and for the petroleum industry in general.”
Last November in Vienna, the OPEC members agreed upon a deal to cut production as of January 1 by about 1.2 million barrels per day, or about 4.5 percent of production, to 32.5 million barrels per day.
According to a recent OPEC report, world oil supply fell by over one million barrels per day in January, averaging at 95.75 million barrels per day.
The rally stalled this year as U.S. output and supplies continued to grow. Brent crude, a global benchmark, has declined 9.6 percent this year.
In early March, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said that it is early to talk about the extension of oil output cut deal.
“When we meet in May, we will be able to look at all the data … and see what we have achieved,” Barkindo told journalists during the CERAWeek energy conference in the US city of Houston.