U.S. Oil Imports at 23-Year-Low, Output Hits Another Record

U.S. Oil Imports at 23-Year-Low, Output Hits Another Record

U.S. Oil Imports at 23-Year-Low, Output Hits Another Record

Meanwhile, in an interview with CNBC, Falih responded to US President Donald Trump's tweet by saying that OPEC and its partners are "taking it easy".

Oil markets have generally received support this year from supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which together with some non-affiliated producers like Russian Federation, known as OPEC+, agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices. "Just as the second half of previous year proved, we are interested in market stability first and foremost".

His comments come just two days after Trump criticised the producer group for rising crude prices.

"World can not take a price hike - fragile!"

Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih said on Wednesday that more energy investment was needed to meet future demand and warned that policies in many countries are undermining energy sector development. "The 25 countries are taking a very slow and measured approach". "If we find out that the fundamentals are tightening by June, you can bet that I will be, just like we did past year, encouraging my colleagues within OPEC+ to ease" the cuts and not allow the market to tighten.

Falih said it was hard to foresee the situation in June when the agreement between major oil producers, including Russian Federation, expires.

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OPEC production fell to a four-year low in January as the cartel, and its unofficial leader Saudi Arabia, applied the new pact to shore up prices, the International Energy Agency said this month.

Now, Trump is tweeting again about high global oil prices and asking OPEC+ to reconsider its oil production cut deal that was implemented at the start of the year.

Oil prices crashed in mid-2014 to below $30 a barrel, down from over $100 a barrel, due to a glut in supplies and weakening global demand.

Al-Falih has said he expects oil markets to balance by April. Yet, he added that an easing of oil production cuts could still happen depending on the continuation of supply curbs in Libya, Venezuela and Iran.

Despite the OPEC-led curbs, oil remains in ample supply as US crude production has risen by more than 2 million bpd over the past year, to a record 12 million bpd, and because demand growth is low due to a global economic slowdown and improving energy efficiency across industries.

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