Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi on Monday appeared to downplay worries about the impact of sinking crude oil prices on production from the world’s top oil exporter.
Oil prices in Europe have declined since June as geopolitical concerns wane and key producing regions including the United States continue to pump large amounts into the market, raising the spectre of OPEC production cuts later this year.
But Naimi seemed unmoved by the recent slide in Brent oil .
Asked by Reuters while in New York if he was concerned about the recent price declines, he said: “Why are you worried about the oil market?” He declined to comment further.
His comment was similar to those he made to Reuters a few weeks ago after prices pierced $100 per barrel for the first time since June. The market has continued to decline, triggering speculation about potential output cuts by OPEC at its next meeting toward the end of November. Saudi Arabia told OPEC that it produced 9.597 million barrels a day in August.
Last week, Reuters reported that OPEC may not cut output as strengthening demand in the Northern Hemisphere winter months is expected to boost prices even as the global market remains awash with supplies and concerns in the Middle East and Russia wane.
Brent crude for November delivery fell $1.42 to $96.97 on Monday. On Sept. 15, it fell to $96.65, its lowest since 2012.