Oil prices rose on Monday after the new Saudi Arabian energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, confirmed expectations that there would be no radical change in his country’s oil policy.
Prince Abdulaziz, son of Saudi King Salman and a long-time member of the Saudi delegation to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, replaced Khalid al-Falih on Sunday.
Global benchmark Brent LCOc1 crude futures were up 46 cents at $62.00 a barrel by 1011 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 was up 48 cents at $57.00.
Speaking on Monday, Prince Abdulaziz said the pillars of Saudi policy would not change and that a global deal to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day would survive “with the will of everybody”.
He added that the so-called OPEC+ alliance between OPEC and non-member countries including Russia, a partnership he helped cement, was staying for the long term. He declined to comment on oil prices.
“The options for a change of policy are relatively limited,” said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix. “The price reaction is muted because we don’t expect a strong change.”
Russia’s oil output in August exceeded its quota under the OPEC+ agreements.
OPEC oil output rose in August, gaining for the first month this year as higher supply from Iraq and Nigeria outweighed restraint by Saudi Arabia and losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, a Reuters survey found.
The United Arab Emirates’ energy minister, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, said on Sunday that OPEC and non-OPEC producers were “committed” to achieving oil market balance.
The OPEC+ deal’s joint ministerial monitoring committee meets on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.
Trade and geopolitical tensions are affecting the market more than demand and supply, Mazrouei said, but he was quick to rule out hasty steps influenced by the trade war between the United States and China.
“The fear of slower (oil) demand is only going to happen if that tension is escalating and I am personally hopeful that is not the case,” Mazrouei told Reuters.
Prices on Monday were also supported by a rise in oil imports in China in August, with shipments to the world’s biggest importer up 3% from July and nearly 10% higher in the first eight months of 2019 from a year earlier.
In the United States, drilling companies cut the number of operating oil rigs for a third week.