Mohammad Barkindo, secretary general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), says that despite the improvement in oil prices, members must not lose sight of their goals.
Barkindo, who made this statement on Thursday at a conference in Paris, said that an overhang in global oil inventories was declining but stockpiles still needed to fall closer to the five-year industry average.
“While it is evident that the market rebalancing is now moving forward and investment specifically in short-cycle projects is returning, it is essential we do not take our eyes off our desired goals.
“We need to see the global stock overhang move closer to its five-year average. We need to see the return of more long-cycle investments.”
NAN reports that Barkindo’s views were echoed by oil ministers from OPEC members, Iraq and Angola, also attending the conference.
Iraqi oil minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, said production cuts were gradually leading to a long-awaited rebalancing of the market.
The OPEC members and a number of non-OPEC producers will meet on May 25 to discuss extending output cuts that cover the first half of 2017.
The cuts total 1.8 million barrels per day, two-thirds of that from OPEC producers, and are aimed at clearing a supply glut that has depressed oil prices.
Luaibi added that Baghdad will go with the consensus reached by OPEC when the group meets in Vienna next month.
Angola’s oil minister, José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, said he believes the deal would be extended beyond June.
Barkindo said consensus on a decision during OPEC’s next meeting was “gradually building up”.
In its latest monthly report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that oil stocks in industrialised countries stood at around 3.06 billion barrels at the end of February, a figure that mostly includes crude and oil products.
The Paris-based IEA said stocks were some 336 million barrels above the five-year average.