OPEC stalwarts say shale surge won’t affect efforts to clear oil glut

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According to OPEC’s President and Secretary General, surging output of U.S. shale oil won’t be a “huge distorter” of efforts by global crude producers to clear a glut, Bloomberg reports.

The market should re-balance this year, given robust demand and producers’ compliance with their pledges to curtail supply, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, currently the president of OPEC, said Monday in an interview in Dubai. The market is “on course to restoring balance” for the first time since 2014, OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo added at a conference in Cairo.

Oil demand is set to grow by 1.6 million barrels a day in 2018, the same level as last year, and crude inventories are continuing to dwindle as OPEC and other producers pursue their output cuts until the end of the year, Barkindo said Monday. Venezuela is proposing that OPEC seek a five-year deal for cooperation on output with allied producers beyond 2018, he also added.