Exporters should ‘get on board fully’ with output cuts: al-Falih

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Riyadh has held “frank and friendly” discussions with fellow oil exporters about cutting oil production as promised.

Al-Falih urged better delivery from OPEC and 11 non-OPEC nations that have vowed to reduce their oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day (MMBPD).

“It’s a learning process for some countries and we want them to accelerate that learning and get on board fully,” he told CNBC in a recent interview, monitored by Kallanish Energy.

Saudi Arabia has been providing most of the 1.2 MMBPD the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries committed to removing from the market in November.

In its latest monthly report, OPEC cited secondary sources showing only the kingdom and Angola had cut more than promised in February. Four other producers came in above their quotas last month, while Iraq and the United Arab Emirates remain well above their targets.

At the same time, non-OPEC producers have fallen short of cutting 558,000 BPD, a level they agreed to in December. Russia, the largest contributor, delivered roughly 33% of its cuts in the first two months of the deal.

That contribution was disappointing, Falih told CNBC on the sidelines of the recent CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston.

Last Friday, al-Falih said Saudi Arabia has sold its March production and informed its customers about April loadings, and can assure markets the Saudis will continue to cut more deeply than it is required.

“I can tell you with certainty that for the first four months looking at April, Saudi Arabia is going to be well above its commitment, he said.

“So we’re committed, but we also seek equal sharing by others of what they signed up to, and we had frank and friendly discussions in Houston during the conference with some of the countries that were represented, and everybody is happy about this agreement.”