Oil demand to rise sharply in 2018: OPEC

2018-01-12 01:59:32 GMT2018-01-12 09:59:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

DUBAI, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said Thursday that he expected a sharp rise in oil demand in 2018.

Suhail Al-Mazrouei, the OPEC president and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) minister of energy, said on Twitter that he expects 2018 to be "a year of strong oil demand."

"OPEC will only take drastic actions when there is a crisis, otherwise it will not step in to change normal economic market conditions," he added.

On Wednesday, oil price surged to a near three-year high when one barrel (159 liters) reached 69.23 U.S. dollars, but the price has dropped slightly since then.

OPEC and its partners on Nov. 30, 2017 agreed to extend the output cut till the end of 2018, nine months longer than the previous agreement.

"We are moving to an environment of lesser geopolitical impact and more market fundamental drivers on oil price," said the OPEC president.

In 2016, the OPEC countries reached an agreement in Vienna to reduce daily oil production during the first half of 2017 to boost global oil prices. The agreement was also supported by 11 non-OPEC states. In late May, the parties to the deal agreed to extend the accord until the end of March 2018.

OPEC is proud in the output cut deal and the role it is playing in ensuring the stability of global market, said Mazrouei.

Asked if he expects all OPEC states and non-OPEC member Russia to stick to the agreement, Mazrouei said "my expectation is that compliance with production cuts will continue and remain strong."

He added that he expects "Saudi Arabia to keep its promise and to go public of its state-run energy giant Saudi Aramco in 2018."