Opec+ aims to reduce volatility and remains focused on oil market stability

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman insists all alliance members take part in decision-making

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, said consensus among Opec+ in the alliance's decision-making had a positive impact on the market. Reuters
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Opec+, the alliance of 23 oil-producing countries, aims to reduce market fluctuations and will continue to focus on stability in the year ahead, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said.

The alliance's decision to cut production by 2 million barrels per day on October 5 proved to be the right one, given recent developments, he told a forum in Riyadh on Sunday after the kingdom's 2023 budget announcements.

At its last meeting in October, Opec+ decided to slash its collective output by 2 million bpd until the end of next year, citing concerns of a global economic slowdown.

He insisted every member of Opec+, which is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, took part in decision-making.

"Group action requires agreement and therefore I continue to insist that every Opec+ member, whether a big or small producer, be a part of decision-making," Prince Abdulaziz said.

"Consensus has positive implications on the market."

The alliance, which brings together members of Opec and non-oil producers, last met on December 4 and decided to keep output unchanged amid a weakening economy and uncertainty over how the Russian price cap would affect the market.

The group said it was ready to address “market developments” and support the “balance of the oil market and its stability if necessary”.

Oil prices posted their worst weekly decline in months at close on Friday as mounting recession concerns stoked fears of slumping demand for crude.

Brent, the benchmark for two thirds of the world’s oil, settled 0.07 per cent lower at $76.10. West Texas Intermediate, the gauge that tracks US crude, closed 0.62 per cent lower at $71.02 a barrel.

Oil prices fell to below $80 a barrel for the first time since January last week on persistent fears of a recession and rising interest rates.

Global economic growth is forecast to be as weak as in 2009 — during the financial crisis — as a result of the Ukraine conflict and its impact on the world economy, the Institute of International Finance said in a report this month.

The world economy is projected to grow by 1.5 per cent next year, compared with 0.6 per cent in 2009, the IIF said.

This assessment follows the International Monetary Fund's move to slash its global economic growth forecast for next year due to the effects of the Ukraine conflict, broadening inflation pressures and a slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

The fund maintained its global economic estimate for this year at 3.2 per cent but downgraded next year's forecast to 2.7 per cent — 0.2 percentage points lower than the July forecast.

Updated: December 11, 2022, 3:31 PM