RIYADH — Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman has signaled the possibility of extending OPEC+ oil production cuts beyond March if deemed necessary.

The pledged reductions of over 2 million barrels per day, with half originating from Saudi Arabia, will be withdrawn based on market conditions and a phased-in approach, ensuring full delivery.

Despite expressing a preference for output reduction, Prince Abdulaziz acknowledged challenges in convincing his Russian counterpart due to weather and geological constraints.

However, he emphasized the strong trust between Riyadh and Moscow, highlighting Russia's commitment to export curbs and transparency in case of any shortfall.

The minister underscored the importance of market trust and verification through external sources, affirming confidence in both Russia and key ally the United Arab Emirates to adhere to OPEC+ agreements.

“We believe them,” Prince Abdulaziz said. “I honestly believe they are doing everything by the book.”

It’s just as important that Russia has the trust of the market, which requires outside verification, the prince added.

“This is what we’ve been saying to them: What counts is not us believing you, what counts is the market, the secondary sources, the tanker trackers,” the prince said. “You have to approach them, you have to work with them.”

Prince Abdulaziz said he has the same faith in key Gulf ally the United Arab Emirates, which has for several years been arguing that it should be allowed to produce more to monetize its massive investments in capacity.

“We would not have done this deal if we had believed that they are not doing what they are supposed to do,” he said when asked about the UAE’s commitment to the OPEC+ deal. — Bloomberg

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