March 11, 2019 / 6:33 PM / 9 days ago

CERAWEEK-OPEC to maintain cuts to reduce global inventories -official

HOUSTON, March 11 (Reuters) - The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to review global oil demand and supply balance as the group maintains production cuts during its April meeting, a senior Gulf oil official said on Monday.

“They will talk about demand and supply balance and will continue cutting (production),” the official said on the sidelines of IHS Markit’s CERAWeek energy conference.

“We want to see commercial stocks down,” he said, adding that global crude and oil products stocks should fall back to a five-year average, a target the group had set to drain a global oil glut.

OPEC and allies including Russia - known as the OPEC+ alliance - will meet in Vienna on April 17-18, with another gathering scheduled for June 25-26.

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Sunday the April meeting likely would be too soon to change the group’s output policy and that China and the United States would lead healthy global demand for oil this year.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, plans to cut its crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day, from 7.2 million in January, while keeping its output well below 10 million barrels per day as the kingdom seeks to drain a supply glut and support oil prices. (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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