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Saudi minister calls for 1 mn bpd global oil production cut

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia's energy minister called Monday for a global output cut of one million barrels per day to re-balance the market, as Riyadh unveiled plans to cut production by 500,000 bpd from December.

"The technical analysis we reviewed yesterday (Sunday) shows that we need a reduction approaching one million bpd to balance the market," Khalid al-Falih told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

The proposed reduction is from October production levels, Falih said.

Oil prices have shed a fifth of their value over the past month due to oversupply and signs of a softer-than-expected impact from US sanctions on Iranian crude exports.

But they climbed on Monday as the world's biggest supplier Saudi Arabia announced plans to cut production in response to fears of oversupply.

Falih said Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil supplier, would cut its production by 500,000 bpd as of next month to help stabilise the market.

The 14 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which include Saudi Arabia, alone pump over a third of global crude supply.

Any official decision on global output cuts will be made at a key ministerial meeting for OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Vienna in early December, Falih said.

Oil producers will continue to evaluate the market data prior to the Vienna summit, "but if we need to trim production by one million bpd, we will do," Falih added.

The UAE's energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, said balancing the market would "require changes in the strategy" of producers.

"We need not overreact" to falling prices, Mazrouei said, adding that crude was a dynamic market.

Iraqi energy minister spokesman Assem Jihad told AFP his country, also an OPEC member, was hoping for "any decision that would help balance and stabilise the market".

Brent crude dropped below 70 a barrel on Friday for the first time since April but it was trading above 71 a barrel on Monday.

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