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Prices collapsed by almost half last year as Saudi Arabia led OPEC in maintaining production rather than cede market share to booming U.S. supply. The group has become more unified about keeping its output target because prices are now rising, according to Kuwait’s oil minister.
The stoppage at Wafra may help reduce a worldwide glut that has pushed crude prices down by about 40 percent in the last 12 months. OPEC, which counts Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as members, chose in November to keep pumping crude oil to protect its share of the market rather than cutting output to boost prices. Brent crude, a global benchmark, was trading at $65.08 a barrel Tuesday at 8:42 a.m. in London.
Saudi Aramco is expanding in refining and petrochemicals and seeking to boost ties with Asia as part of its ambition to become both the world’s largest oil and chemicals producer by the end of the decade.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir issued a statement Sunday saying the king won’t visit “due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid.”
Saudi Arabia is pumping near-record amounts of crude, leading the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in a policy of maintaining output to pressure suppliers outside the 12-nation group to help tackle an excess.
In less than four months, the king has overhauled his cabinet, removed princes from government roles, merged ministries and realigned the succession.
With the plunge in crude throttling economies across the Middle East, gold buyers are harder to find.
Prices tumbled the first quarter of this year as U.S. output surged to the highest level in more than four decades and OPEC members pumped more barrels.
The monarch elevated Muhammad Bin Nayef to crown prince after Prince Muqrin, the king’s brother, asked to step down, the royal court said on Wednesday.
Talks with the 12-nation group will take place on June 2-3, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday in Moscow.