Saudi Arabia oil minister Ali Al-Naimi. Image courtesy of russavia/Wikimedia Commons.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said Sunday that OPEC can not be solely responsible for cutting oil production to strength global crude prices.

Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi told reporters at an energy conference in Riyadh that non-OPEC producers will also have to implement cuts before OPEC members trim their output, Reuters said.

“Today the situation is hard. We tried, we held meetings and we did not succeed because countries (outside OPEC) were insisting that OPEC carry the burden and we refuse that OPEC bears the responsibility,” Al-Naimi said.

Al-Naimi added that efforts to collaborate with non-OPEC members on production cuts have not yielded any agreements.

“The production of OPEC is 30 percent of the market, 70 percent from non-OPEC…everybody is supposed to participate if we want to improve prices,” Al-Naimi said.

The oil minister’s comments echo a similar stance taken by Saudi Arabia’s royal family earlier this year.

In a speech written by the late King Abdullah and delivered by then crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud the royal family said Saudi Arabia will keep a “solid will” on output targets.

Earlier this month former Qatar energy minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said OPEC is unlikely to lower its production targets unless other producers agree to similar output cuts.

Saudi Arabia has repeatably stood by the 30 million barrel per day production target set at OPEC’s November 27 meeting despite push back from non-OPEC producers and other OPEC members.

In October officials from Venezuela, a fellow OPEC member, called Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to trim output a “price war.”

Al-Naimi said Sunday that Saudi Arabia has no plans to boost production without a spike in demand.

“Currently there is no plan because there is no demand,” he told Reuters.

OPEC projects global oil demand to rise by 1.17 million bpd to 92.32 million bpd in 2015.

“This time the sharp fall in prices has been mainly driven by excess supply. As a result, lower prices are likely to help to accelerate the pace of oil demand growth this time,” OPEC said in February.

Saudi Arabia’s 2015 budget calls for a crude price of about $60 per barrel.

OPEC is scheduled to meet again on June 5 in Vienna.


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