Qatar Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said on Friday that he saw no demand for the additional crude that Saudi Arabia has pledged over the past few months to pump Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporter, has promised to step up production to its highest rate in three decades in an effort to tame oil prices, which have surged nearly 50 percent this year, hitting a record high $145.85 a barrel last week.
"Even though Saudi Arabia increased production we are seeing that the demand is not there," the Qatar oil minister told Reuters during an interview at a shipyard on the South Korean coast, where he attended the launch of the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, the Q-Max Mozah.
"Saudi tried to offer extra cargoes but the refiners are full to capacity, we see they have high stocks," he said.
The kingdom has pledged to pump 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, an increase of 550,000 bpd versus May, but most refiners in its biggest market, Asia, have said they're unable or unwilling to buy anything beyond their normal volumes.
So far in Asia only India's giant private refiner Reliance Industries has confirmed buying additional Saudi crude, saying it is taking 30 percent of the extra barrels in June and July, just ahead of its launch of a massive new refinery that will make its Jamnagar complex the biggest such facility in the world.
Attiyah also reiterated OPEC's familiar refrain that oil markets had spiraled beyond its control.
"The price of has no relationship with oil supply, other (factors) such as geopolitics, speculation, the weak dollar, inflation, all these affect the oil price and markets react to these parameters more than the physical," he said.
"Many producers are committed to producing more if the market needs, if the market doesn't react what should they do?" he said.
"Now supplies are sufficient, the market is showing no signs of shortage."
OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri said on Thursday that OPEC is pumping more than enough oil and will review market dynamics at its next meeting in September.