Davos WEF
Davos WEF

OPEC Secretary General: Oil to remain at low levels for a month

OPEC SecGen: We have to cut production together

The secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries told CNBC on Wednesday that oil prices were likely to remain around their current levels for around a month before rebounding.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Abdullah al-Badri, said it was hard to predict oil price movements given the ongoing fluctuations.

"It will stay for another month at this low price, but I'm sure the price will rebound," he told CNBC. 

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Brent crude oil prices have dropped almost 50 percent since last year in the biggest annual fall since 2008, amid weakening demand and a refusal by OPEC to cut production in November.

But al-Badri insisted that the group, which provides about a third of the world's supply, "knew what it was doing."

"We know that there is over-supply in the market, that there is a lower demand—and we decided to keep production as it is," he said. 

If OPEC was going to reduce supply, it had to be alongside production cuts by non-OPEC members, such as U.S. shale producers, al-Badri said. 

He insisted that the group was not playing a "game of chicken" with its rivals, as some analysts have claimed, over who can absorb the dip in prices and not cut back on production.

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"This is a collective decision. It is agreed by all the ministers. ... There is a pure economic decision. It is not targeted at anybody. ... Whatever you hear is nonsense," he said. "We are more united than ever. ... We are a very strong group."

Oil prices rallied on Wednesday after both Total and ENI said they were cutting investment, with Brent crude moving above $49 a barrel and U.S. crude hitting $48.06 per barrel.