Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), reportedly prefers crude prices to stabilize at around USD 60 a barrel.
Citing sources familiar with the situation, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Riyadh would not make any effort to slash oil supply in the near future even if crude prices fall further.
The Persian Gulf Arab states “don’t have a price target, and if prices drop further below USD 60, it won’t be for a long time,” the American newspaper quoted an unnamed Arab oil official as saying.
On Thursday, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January delivery increased by 33 cents to USD 67.71, while Brent crude gained 41 cents to USD 70.33 in late-morning trade.
At its 166th ministerial meeting held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on November 27, OPEC surprised the market by not cutting oil output in the face of sliding prices.
The 12-member oil producing organization decided to maintain the production level of 30 million barrels per day where it has stood for three years.
Global crude oil prices have dropped to a four-year low following the decision.
OPEC was under pressure from some of its members, notably Venezuela and Ecuador, to cut output to reduce supplies and push prices back up. However, the call was rejected by Persian Gulf members, including Saudi Arabia.
OPEC pumps out about 40 percent of the world’s oil. The next OPEC output meeting is set for June 2015.
By Press TV
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