Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih is relaxed about the possibility of overshooting in Opec’s bid to reduce global oil inventories, seeing the greater threat as posed by exiting the production agreement too early. “If we err on the side of overbalancing then so be it” he said at an industry event in Riyadh this week.

Mr Falih’s stance is perhaps not too much of a sacrifice given that erring in this way would tighten the market, potentially boosting prices. Yes, price gains give succor to rival producers, in particular the US, but that genie has already escaped the bottle. The IEA’s February Oil Market Report (OMR) released this week says “US producers are enjoying a second wave of growth so extraordinary that in 2018 their increase in liquids production could equal global demand growth.” (CONTINUED - 1039 WORDS)