Saudis Now Want to Support Oil Market

Saudis Now Want to Support Oil MarketSaudis Now Want to Support Oil Market

Saudi Arabia wants to cooperate with other oil producers to support the oil market, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television reported on Sunday, quoting an unnamed Saudi source.

But there is widespread skepticism that a deal will happen, especially since Iran is keen to boost its market share now that sanctions on it have been lifted.

The source also told the Dubai-based satellite channel that the kingdom was not the source of a proposal to cut production that Russia was studying, Reuters reported.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday OPEC had proposed output cuts of up to 5% to help reduce a glut of crude and prop up sinking prices, in what would be the first such deal globally in over a decade. It was not clear if Novak was referring to a months-old proposal by OPEC members Venezuela and Algeria, or a new one backed by Saudi Arabia. Sunday's Al-Arabiya report implied the proposal was not new.

The Saudi source's comments were in line with remarks made by a senior OPEC delegate to Reuters on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia has now belatedly agreed to stabilize prices while calling on other countries, particularly higher-cost producers, to also reduce their output.

The possibility of supply restraint by producers boosted oil prices to almost $36 a barrel last week from a 12-year low close of $27.