Saudi Arabia will reduce oil supply next month in response to lower demand, and more cuts could follow next year.
Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al Falih said the kingdom’s oil output would fall by 500,000 barrels per day in December.
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies could reduce supply further next year if needed, he added.
“The consensus among all members is that we need to do whatever it takes to balance the market,” Al Falih said. “If that means trimming supply by a million [barrels per day], we will do it.”
Global oil prices tumbled into a bear market last week, down more than 20% from their recent peak. Fear of a global economic slowdown and a decision by the United States to allow some countries to keep buying Iranian crude oil following the reintroduction of sanctions have hit market sentiment.
BP (BP) CEO Bob Dudley said the Saudi cut represented “quite a bit of oil.”
“That probably would adjust sentiment and get [prices] back into a corridor with less volatility,” he told CNN Business.
A senior OPEC source said the cartel and other major producers are discussing cutting production by as much as 1.2 million barrels per day. A decision could be taken at the next OPEC meeting in Vienna on December 6.