There was no need for an emergency OPEC meeting despite the drop in oil prices, UAE Oil Minister Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Monday, reinforcing the idea that major Gulf producers are ready to wait out lower prices.
“OPEC is not a swing producer. It’s not fair that we correct the market for everyone else … I don’t think that is a sustainable strategy anymore,” he told reporters. “I don’t see a reason to meet so quickly.”
“We are of the view that the market should be left to balance itself,” he said, echoing sentiments first expressed by his counterpart from close ally Saudi Arabia.
Global oil prices deepened their months-long decline following Mazroui’s comments on Monday, with Brent nearing $60 a barrel as traders tested OPEC’s resolve to hold off cutting output despite the deepest market rout since 2008.
The minister told reporters he was optimistic oil prices would stabilise at a fair level for producers and consumers.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Mazroui said. “No one was expecting such a drastic decrease in prices and unfortunately we cannot fix it because that’s the right decision for the market, but we are committed.”
OPEC’s late November meeting decided not to cut output to shore up prices, and the group would stick by that policy, said the minister from the United Arab Emirates.
“We are all in pain because we don’t like (prices) we are seeing,” he said. OPEC was not targeting a specific oil price and would not intervene without the support of other major producers, he added.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to correct the market,” Mazroui said. “We cannot cut production whenever someone over supplies the market. We can’t cut production every time the price goes down.”