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OPEC secretary general says credibility is at stake over production deal

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo told CNBC the group's "credibility is at stake" as the oil producing cartel negotiates the implementation of a landmark deal designed to curb a global supply overhang.

"We are giving the implementation process the top priority that it deserves because our credibility is at stake… I can tell you that we are very committed to complying fully with the voluntary decisions that we took and so far so good," Barkindo told CNBC at a forum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' secretary general suggested in a press conference that oil producing nations were edging ever closer to rebalancing the market. Barkindo also said a decision as to whether to extend production cuts beyond June could be expected at the group's meeting on May 25.

OPEC agreed to slash output by around 1.2 million barrels per day (b/d) from January 1 for six months in order to remove a supply glut. Eleven other non-OPEC countries, including Russia, subsequently agreed to limit supply by half as much.

Barkindo described the oil market as "robust", adding the numbers look "very encouraging" moving forwards. He also reaffirmed his satisfaction at the compliance shown from both OPEC and non-OPEC producers to date.

OPEC 'not price driven'

Brent crude has soared by around 19 percent since OPEC decided to reduce output and analysts at both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup forecast oil prices to return to the mid $60s by year end.

When asked whether he shared these analysts' crude oil price projections, Barkindo said, "As a matter of policy, we at OPEC are not price driven."

Brent crude traded at around $55.06 a barrel on Wednesday afternoon, up 0.27 percent, while U.S. crude was around $52.48 a barrel, up 0.15 percent.