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Too soon to decide on extending supply deal - UAE oil minister

UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui talks to reporters during the 15th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF15) in Algiers, Algeria September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina/Files

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - It would be premature to decide whether an agreement among OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to cut output, reached late last year, needs to be extended beyond six months, the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an oil industry conference, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said there needed to be competition in the oil market and trying to fix the market to achieve a certain price would not work, because not everyone in OPEC would support that strategy.

“We are not a cartel. We are not targeting a price,” Mazroui said, adding that a $50 oil price would be “fair for some types of oil and not fair for some”.

Producers intervened to protect the market through their agreement simply because it was already close to reaching a balance, he said.

Asked if he was confident that producers would stick to the agreement if oil prices rose, Mazroui said: “We did not do it purely for the price...We did it for the sustainability of the industry.”

Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Writing by Andrew Torchia