Oil and Gas

Saudi would consider output cut if Russia, others join: Ex-intelligence chief

Is Saudi Arabia considering a cut in oil production?

Saudi Arabia would only consider cutting production if other countries, including non-OPEC producer Russia, joined in limits, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal said on Tuesday.

"The Kingdom is not going to give up market share at this time for anybody and allow producers whether in Russia, Nigeria, Iran and other places to sell to Saudi customers because we cut our production," Prince Turki said during a visit to London.

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"If there is a reasonably guaranteed oversight of production quotas - if they ever are agreed with and someone can definitively say there will never be under-the-table selling of the oil from these other countries - maybe then I think Saudi Arabia and other oil producers would be willing to cut down production," he said.

"But we have tried that in the past and unfortunately other producers took advantage," the prince added.

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Oil has fallen since June to reach its lowest since October 2009 on Monday as new supplies of high-quality, light crude from North America overwhelmed demand, which in turn has suffered from slower economic growth in China and Europe.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had been expected to trim output last week to try to rebalance the market but agreed to maintain existing production targets.

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Prince Turki said the Kingdom had accumulated sufficient financial reserves over recent years to finance requirements even if oil prices fell.

"I see no immediate crisis for Saudi Arabia in the coming couple of years or so," he said.