CERAWeek: OPEC meeting with US shale producers as ministers pressure majors

Houston (Platts)--5 Mar 2018 1051 pm EST/351 GMT

OPEC ministers are increasingly pressuring the heads of US oil majors to take action to stabilize the global market, Nigeria's oil minister told reporters Monday.

"It's not just a problem for OPEC, it's a problem for the entire industry," Emmanuel Kachikwu, the oil minister, said during a news conference at CERAWeek by IHS Markit.

Kachikwu declined to comment on what companies OPEC ministers were speaking with, or if any specific requests were being made, but said the conversations were focused on market stabilization so "at least everyone will be focused on what needs to be done."

OPEC ministers and some US shale producers planned to meet in Houston on Monday night, according to OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo.

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Barkindo declined to comment on who was attending this meeting, although he said as many as six OPEC ministers would be at CERAWeek.

He depicted the meeting as part of a "dialogue" which began at last year's CERAWeek conference which would focus on industry models and forecasts.

"We are not talking about prices. We are not talking about production cuts," Barkindo told reporters. "This is not the objective of the dialogue." Barkindo said OPEC ministers would also be meeting with financiers, including hedge funds and money managers, and physical oil traders while at CERAWeek.

Barkindo on Monday credited the 2016 supply cut agreement OPEC launched with 10 non-OPEC allies led by Russia with pulling the oil industry out of what he called the "most injurious" down cycle in history.

"Everybody benefited," Barkindo said, adding that the agreement put the industry back on a "path of sustainable growth."

Barkindo said that producers who agreed to the cut "paid a very deep price" and added that the industry should "salute them for their courage."

When asked, Barkindo gave no indication that the supply cut agreement would be extended beyond 2018.

-- Brian Scheid,

-- Edited by Jason Lindquist,

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