Falih said OPEC is guided by two main principles: "One to keep the market in its direction towards balancing and inventories back to normal level".
Tensions have mounted in an already tight market as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers have withheld supply to support prices since the start of the year in a six-month agreement. We will definitely be responsive and the market will be supplied.
"Overall, the market is in a delicate situation", Falih told reporters before a ministerial panel meeting of top OPEC and non-member oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.
In a market where the preponderance of risks are on the supply side - with Venezuela and Libya also facing disruptions - what Saudi Arabia chooses to do with its ample spare production capacity may be the market's deciding factor in the coming months. "They had a lot of refinery issues and they lost a lot of oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela because of these production cuts", he said. Regardless of what OPEC+ decides next month, output in July won't exceed the kingdom's limit in the deal of 10.3 MMbpd, he said. Meanwhile, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported USA crude stockpiles rose 2.4 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data.
"But I want to assure you that our group has always done the right thing in the interests of both consumers and producers; and we will continue to do so", he added.
The United Arab Emirates' energy minister says he does not think relaxing the oil production cuts in place is the right measure.
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"We have seen inventory building".
"In view of a growing imbalance between global oil supply and demand in 2019, [we] hereby chose to adjust the overall production by 1.2 million barrels per day, effective as of January 2019 for an initial period of six months", OPEC said. Starting with the global economy, although multilateral institutions have moderated their forecasts of world growth, the levels are still reasonably healthy with the USA leading a steady performance while the Chinese economy started the year fairly strongly.
The alliance had responded with cuts at Opec's annual meeting in Vienna last year to correct oversupply in the market, which saw prices plummet by 30 per cent by year-end after rising to a three-year high of $86.2 per barrel in October.
"We have strong (oil) industry security. everybody is vulnerable to extreme acts of sabotage", Falih said.
Iran's oil exports are expected to shrink further in the coming months after the US stopped renewing waivers that allowed it to continue selling to some countries. "Never threaten the United States again!"
The US has continued to burden Iran with economic embargoes in attempts to nullify Iran's oil exports to virtually zero and has also increased militarization in the Gulf amid unknown Iranian threats.