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Policy options for Saudi Arabia's new energy minister

12 September 2019

This will be further confirmation that the OPEC-led production cuts are working to drive down US inventory. -China trade dispute and Brexit could press the case for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russian Federation to maintain or adjust their policy of cutting output. It is being speculated that he will maintain policy similar to predecessor al-Falih, who greenlit the aforementioned production cut deal. USA crude inventories probably declined by 2.8 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg analyst survey before government data due Wednesday.

He told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi that ultimately the kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear programme, including the production and enrichment of uranium for fuel.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman brought some humour to his debut as the kingdom's new oil minister Monday, joking that the industry outlook could drive him to take Prozac if he took it seriously.

Prices climbed for a fourth day and were also supported by comments from the United Arab Emirates' energy minister that OPEC and its allies are committed to balancing the crude market. -China trade war and fears of an economic slowdown have started to slow demand and hit market sentiment.

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In Abu Dhabi, new Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman signaled a continuation of the kingdom's policy of output restraint. UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

"The swift reaction from Saudi Arabia will likely stabilize oil prices, but the oil price probably won't move much above $60 per barrel until there is evidence of progress in U.S".

U.S. oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 85,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, to a record 8.77 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast in a report. That's too cheap to cover the budgets of many nations in the cartel, notably Saudi Arabia, but the group gave no indication that it will try to push prices higher at the meeting of its Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee on Thursday.

Prince Abdulaziz enters the job with a lifetime of experience in Saudi Arabia's energy sector and is seen as a safe and steady choice to lead the ministry, where he will oversee production of one of the world's largest oil exporters.

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"The new minister is highly experienced and knows his subject better than just about anyone in the country", said Joseph Kechichian, senior fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh.

The prince's unparalleled diplomatic network may help soothe relationships frayed by Al-Falih, who often seemed impatient with OPEC members unable or unwilling to contribute meaningful oil production cuts.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman can be seen embracing his brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after giving his oath at the Red Sea port of Jedda.

In the United States, drilling companies cut the number of operating oil rigs for a third week in a row last week.

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Policy options for Saudi Arabia's new energy minister