Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) General Secretary Mohammed Barkindo on Tuesday urged shale oil producers in the US to support the plan to cut oil supply. “The issue now is of restoring stability. The industry has to return to the path of sustainable growth and this is not only the responsibility of Opec, it is a shared responsibility of all producers, including the independents in the US,” Barkindo said, addressing the Cera (Cambridge Energy Research Associates) Week Energy Summit, organised by IHS Markit in Delhi. He said that the US and Opec had agreed to find a joint solution to achieve market stability. The oil producers’ group had reached out to independent producers in the US earlier this year, seeking their support in this regard at the Cera Week in Houston. “We were pleasantly surprised at the outcome and the call by independents themselves that we need to continue interactions and are looking forward to reconvening this meeting with them shortly,” he added. Though there was a sudden rise in both Brent and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices after the Opec production cut was announced in January, the benchmarks started sliding since then, which led to the decision to extend the deadline from June 30 this year.
Now, both Opec and 10 non-Opec nations, including Russia, have opted for an extension of the cut of 1.8 million barrels per day till March 2018.As far as India is concerned, Opec accounts for 86 per cent of crude oil, 75 per cent of gas, and 95 per cent of its liquefied natural gas imports. When asked about India starting its imports from the US again, he said: “This is a global market. As you know, since December 2015, the US has lifted the ban on exports and, therefore, you have been seeing a gradual rise in export numbers. The recent numbers are nearly two million barrels a day of exports. Asia remains a prime destination for exports, particularly sweet crude oil.”