UAE oil minister says oversupply may last months or years

Oil market oversupply may last months or even years, but prices could recover if non-OPEC producers "act rationally", the United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil minister said in remarks published on Wednesday.

The comment by Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei in an interview with The National Daily echoed recent calls by core Gulf Arab OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia that non-OPEC producers should curb planned increases in output to help prop up sagging prices.

"We are experiencing an obvious oversupply in the market that needs time to be absorbed," he was quoted as saying.

"Depending on the actual production growth from non-OPEC countries, this problem could take months or years. If they act rationally, we can see positive corrections during 2015."

Mazrouei also said the UAE would not panic over low prices and the market would eventually stabilise itself, adding that low prices would not delay the country's plans to boost its output capacity to 3.5 million bpd by 2017.

"We have dealt with such fluctuation in the past and we will not panic this time. There is a world demand increase on crude oil and especially our crude and we believe the market will stabilise itself eventually," he was quoted as saying.

OPEC's decision in November not to cut its output "was supported by all members including the UAE and we are confident on the strategic nature of such a decision," he said. "OPEC was not part of the oversupply and shall not be blamed if other non-OPEC countries oversupply the market."

Adapted from press release by Joe Green

Published on 08/01/2015

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