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14

OPEC bulletin 12/17–1/18

1 7 3

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M e e t i n g o f t h e C o n f e r e n c e & 3

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O P E C n o n - O P E C M i n i s t e r i a l M e e t i n g

More work to be done

Al-Falih noted at the press conference that it had been a

“great day of deliberations and dialogue and construc-

tive discussions.” He added that the “decision has been

unanimous.” This was also acknowledged by Novak who

said that “I think we have taken a very positive decision

for oil market participants for the goal of rebalancing the

market. I think we have reaffirmed our commitment to

bring the inventory overhang back down to a five-year-

average level, which will help in restoring a healthy sup-

ply and demand balance and a healthy market.”

However, both noted that more work still needed

to be done. Novak stated that while “I can say we are

fully satisfied with what we are seeing” in terms of the

results of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ to date, “we

are still far away from reaching the final goal, and we

need to continue our joint work to reach this noble goal

of ours.”

The OPEC Conference President stated that “our key

metric, as it has always been, is to bring inventories

down to their normal levels and the target will be clearly

defined in terms of numbers by the middle of the year.

But it is going to be at least 150 million barrels below

the current OECD levels and there will be further stud-

ies by the OPEC Secretariat and by the JTC to make sure

that we are all comfortable with how we define the nor-

mal levels of inventory that we target with precision as

we get closer to the target we expect in the second half

of 2018.”

Al-Falih also noted that “we as a group will be agile,

on our toes and respond, depending on how events may

unfold.” He said that demand is forecast to continue at

the very healthy pace we have seen the past couple of

years, but this still needs to be watched, and “of course,

supply from non-participating countries and regions

remains a question mark and we acknowledge the poten-

tial variabilities, especially from shale producers in the

US.”

From OPEC’s perspective, he also stated that “to the

market there are no surprises.” He said that the issue of

Libya and Nigeria was discussed at length at the OPEC

Ministerial Meeting, with “close, friendly and constructive

consultations with the each country, which also have an

interest in market stability.” He added that “both coun-

tries have told us … that their 2018 levels will not exceed

what they were able to achieve in 2017.”

The Conference President also said that Saudi Arabia

has “taken it on ourselves to lead by example and to be

Irene Nafuna Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda.

Bechir Madet, Petroleum and Energy Minister, Chad.

Jean-Marc Thystere-Tchicaya, Minister of Hydrocarbons, Congo.

Uganda

Chad

Congo