Saudi Arabia is still preoccupied with defending its market share even though its oil minister said producers may discuss taking action to prop up crude prices next month, analyst Dan Yergin said Friday.
Oil markets rallied Thursday on Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih's comments.
Analysts have said Saudi Arabia could play ball with other producers despite rejecting an agreement to freeze output in April after regional rival Iran said it would keep pumping until it returned to pre-sanctions production levels.
That is because the Saudis now have a larger stake in the long-term oil price as Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to diversify the economy by launching an IPO for a stake in state oil giant Saudi Aramco and turning the country's Public Investment Fund into a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund.
Al-Falih confirmed that producers will gather on the sidelines of a meeting in Algeria next month to discuss the rebalancing of oil markets following a two-year rout that has seen crude prices plummet from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to the upper $20s this past winter.
But Yergin said protecting Saudi share of the oil market still trumps propping up prices in the eyes of the kingdom's policymakers. Indeed, in OPEC's latest monthly report out earlier this week, Saudi Arabia reported it was pumping crude at record levels.
"I think the pre-eminent thing is about maintaining market share," Yergin told CNBC's "Squawk Box."