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OPEC, Non-OPEC oil producers extend oil output cut by 9 months

THE Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Non-OPEC states on Thursday decided to extend the joint oil output cut by nine months to rebalance the global oil market after the ministerial meetings in Vienna.

OPEC and some Non-OPEC oil producers jointly cut the 1.8 million barrel per day output from the beginning of 2017 to July 1, seeking to rebalance the oil market from a production glut.

With the extension, the output cut will be extended to March 2018.

It is not surprising that OPEC and its allies made the decision as the extension plan had been recommended by some major oil producers before the meeting.

Saudi Arabia, the largest producer among OPEC member states, openly supports the extension plan, though some other member states are suggesting a deeper oil cut.

"There have been suggestions; many member countries have indicated flexibilities (in deepening oil output cut)," Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources said ahead of the OPEC meeting.

He indicted that the simulation of the oil market suggests that the nine-month extension could be more feasible, in response to the possible deepening oil production cut.

OPEC currently accounts for about one third of the world's oil production. It has been trying to rebalance the oil market by cut its oil production amid surplus in the past two years.

Jamie Webster, an oil market analyst from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, told Xinhua that the shale oil in U.S. is playing an important role in the oil market.

Time is still needed to monitor the shale oil output in the future, which could be influential on the efforts made by the OPEC and Non-OPEC producers to rebalance the market, said the analyst.


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