Oil prices dip as Saudi Arabia dampens prospects of output freeze

SINGAPORE, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped in early trading on Friday after the Saudi energy minister tempered expectations of strong market intervention by producers during talks next month.

International benchmark Brent crude oil prices were trading at $49.55 per barrel at 0114 GMT, down 12 cents from their previous close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 7 cents at $47.26 a barrel.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told Reuters late on Thursday that “we don’t believe any significant intervention in the market is necessary other than to allow the forces of supply and demand to do the work for us,” adding that the “market is moving in the right direction” already.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF), which groups producers and consumers, in Algeria from Sept. 26-28.

The minister’s comments put a dampener on expectations of a meaningful intervention into the market which has been dogged by oversupply for more than two years.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin