Saudi Arabia, Kuwait signal likely extension of oil output cut
By Rania El Gamal, Roslan Khasawneh and Richard Mably
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Leading Gulf oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Kuwait gave a clear signal on Thursday that OPEC plans to extend into the second half of the year a deal with non-member producers to curb supplies of crude.
Consensus is growing among oil producers that a supply restraint pact that started in January should be prolonged after its initial six-month term, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said.
"There is consensus building but it's not done yet," Falih told reporters at a conference in the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwait's oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said he expected the agreement to be extended.
"Russia is on board preliminarily ... Compliance from Russia is very good," Marzouq said.
OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo, noting that Marzouq chairs a committee that measures compliance with the cuts, said: "It is significant that the Kuwaiti minister has come out in public and said this."
OPEC is keen that non-member producers play their promised part in supporting the group's efforts to lift prices, which have recovered to $53 a barrel from lows last year below $30.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC meet on May 25 to discuss extending the curbs that total 1.8 million barrels daily, two-thirds of that from OPEC. Continued...