RIYADH: Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi said on Sunday it would take “some time” to restore stability to the global oil market in the midst of a glut, but he remained optimistic about the future.
Al-Naimi’s comments come at a time when OPEC member Iran is preparing to raise oil exports after international sanctions were lifted on Saturday. Brent plunged to $28.94 a barrel on Friday, its lowest in 12 years, on the prospect of additional Iranian barrels.
“As you know, the oil market has witnessed over its long history, periods of instability, severe price fluctuations and petro-economic cycles,” Al-Naimi said in a speech at an energy event in Riyadh attended by the Mexican president and energy minister.
“This is one of them. Market forces as well as the cooperation among the producing nations always lead to the restoration of stability. This, however, takes some time,” he said.
“I am optimistic about the future, the return of stability to the global oil markets, the improvement of prices and the cooperation among the major producing countries,” he added.
Al-Naimi made a reference to the Asian financial crisis of 1998-1999 when oil crashed and Riyadh helped organize a production cut with other non-OPEC producers, including Mexico, to support prices, according to Reuters.