DUBAI - Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday the OPEC+ production agreement was "essential" to oil market stability and stressed the need for producers to comply with the pact.

The king, in an annual speech to the advisory Shura Council carried on state media, said market stability and balance are a pillar of Saudi energy policy and efforts by the world's top oil exporter to maintain spare capacity had proven important to safeguarding energy supply security.

"The Kingdom ... confirms its keenness for the continuation of the OPEC+ agreement due to its essential role in oil market stability and also stresses the importance of compliance by all participating countries with the agreement," the king said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia agreed this month to stick to their existing policy of monthly oil output increases despite fears a U.S. release of crude reserves and the Omicron coronavirus variant would lead to a fresh oil price rout.  

The OPEC+ alliance is due to discuss its policy on Jan. 4.

(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Ghaida Ghantous Editing by Chris Reese) ((;))