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Saudi Arabia confirms commitment to oil production cut

Saudi Arabia has issued a statement stressing its commitment to lower oil production in response to OPEC figures showing increased production by the kingdom in February, the Financial Times has reported.16 Mar 2017

Saudi Arabia is "committed and determined to stabilising the global oil market by working closely with all other participating OPEC and non-OPEC producers", the Saudi Arabia ministry of energy said in a statement reported by the Financial Times.

The statement followed an OPEC monthly report showing an increase in production by Saudi Arabia in February, and a 10% drop in the price of crude oil over the past week.

Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, said last week that the production agreement between OPEC and other producers had encouraged "green shoots" of recovery.

"Of course, on many occasions in the past, non-OPEC producers have simply reaped the benefits of OPEC supply reductions. But this time around, we made it clear that we will not bear the burden of 'free rides', and both groups are reinforcing one another through voluntary management of their production. All of us realise that such an expanded network of producers with a larger share of global production is the only way to achieve a constructive, stable market for all," he said.

The agreement is "in keeping with Saudi Arabia’s policy of seeking a collaborative framework of production management for a restricted period of time, with the aim of accelerating rebalancing, and then allowing the free market to work", al-Falih said.

The International Energy Agency predicted last year that the international oil glut would end by mid-2017 if OPEC sticks to its production target and non-OPEC producers deliver agreed cuts.