[VIENNA] Opec is "very satisfied" with the oil market, with the current "rebalancing" expected to help boost further prices, Saudi Arabia's new energy minister said Thursday at a meeting of the cartel.
"Everybody is very satisfied with the market. The market is rebalancing as we speak. Demand is extremely healthy and robust. Non-Opec supply is declining. Prices will respond to the rebalancing of the market," Khaled al-Falih told reporters.
"(In the past) prices have shot up too high, they have shot down too low and have stayed too low for too long in my view.
"We think we are on the way up and we hope we will equalise somewhere moderate that encourages investment but not too much investment that encourages an oversupply and a glut again," he said.
The comments by Mr Falih, newly appointed by the kingdom's powerful and dynamic Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will cement expectations that Opec will not seek to cut output at its bi-annual gathering in Vienna on Thursday.
"The market is doing quite well by itself. We will be very gentle in our approach and make sure we don't shock the market," Mr Fatih said at Opec headquarters before the meeting began.
He added: "Our concern is for the long-term stability of the market. That includes plentiful supply meeting this rising demand and ensuring the economic recovery which is not the strongest, we want it to be strong.
"We don't want oil shocks in any way, in the short term as in the long term. In the long term that means we want to encourage investment," he said.