*New minister committed to OPEC cuts
with agency report
Lagos — International benchmark, Brent price hit $62 per barrel on Monday following Saudi Arabia’s appointment of a new oil minister on Sunday.
Son of Saudi King Salman and a long-time member of the Saudi delegation to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Prince Abdulaziz was nominated, replacing Khalid al-Falih.
Price Abdulaziz had been instrumental in negotiating the current agreement on supply cuts between OPEC and non-OPEC countries including Russia.
While Brent LCOc1 crude futures were up at $62.05 as at 11 AM Nigerian time on Monday, price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $60.75 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 was at $57 a barrel. Brent had hovered around $60 a barrel for a while.
Speaking on Monday, Prince Abdulaziz said the Kingdom will uphold the OPEC+ deal.
The OPEC+ agreements had agreed to cut 1.2 million barrels per day.
Although OPEC oil output rose in August as a result of increased output from Iraq and Nigeria, Saudi Arabia had maintained a lower output than its assigned quota.
Losses from Venezuela and low output Iran as a result of U.S. sanctions had also helped decrease OPEC’s market.
The United Arab Emirates’ Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Sunday that members of OPEC and non-OPEC producers were “committed” to achieving oil market balance.
The OPEC+ deal’s joint ministerial monitoring committee will meet on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.
Monday’s price boost was also helped by rise in oil imports in China in August, with shipments to the world’s biggest importer up 3% from July and nearly 10% higher in the first eight months of 2019 from a year earlier.
In the United States, however, drilling activities have slowed and number of operating oil rigs have been cut.