Exclusive: Saudi’s Falih says not sure there is oil shortage, OPEC will act

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Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih speaks during financial sector conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer.

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday that OPEC will be responsive to the oil market’s needs, but that he was not sure there is an oil shortage with data, particularly from the United States, still showing inventories building.

Speaking in Jeddah ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday by top OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, Falih told Reuters OPEC will not decide on output until late June when the group is due to meet.

“We will be flexible, we are going to do the right thing as we always do,” he said.

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. And two to be responsive to market needs. We will strike the right balance I am sure.”

Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Tom Hogue

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