NEW DELHI- Saudi Arabia has assured OPEC that it is "committed, capable and willing" to ensure there will be no shortage in the oil market, OPEC's secretary-general said on Wednesday.
Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was responding to a question on whether the cartel's relationship with Saudi Arabia and global production of oil will be impacted by the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi - a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - has been missing for more than two weeks after visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate.
The journalist's disappearance has resulted in global pressure on Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter. U.S. lawmakers have blamed the Saudi leadership and many high profile guests have pulled out of a major Saudi Arabia investment conference in protest.
Barkindo cited a speech by Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalip al-Falih at a conference in New Delhi on Monday, and said Saudi Arabia is ready to ensure that there is no oil shortage.
"As OPEC, we remain focused on our common objectives," Barkindo said. Saudi Arabia has "a healthy spare capacity to serve as a buffer against any emergency," he added.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Writing by Sudarshan Varadhan Edited by Martin Howell) ((Sudarshan.Varadhan@thomsonreuters.com; +911149548059; Twitter: https://twitter.com/turvytopsy @turvytopsy; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))