Saudi minister sees 'healthier' oil market, ready to take more steps

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih adjusts his glasses during a news conference after a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday rising oil demand growth would more than offset increasing U.S. oil output in 2018 and lead to “healthier” conditions in the oil markets.

Falih also said OPEC and its non-OPEC partners such as Russia stood ready to take additional measures to help the market rebalance and erase one of the worst gluts in history.

He said the market had faced pressure in recent weeks due to weaker OPEC compliance with cuts and rising production from Libya and Nigeria, which have been exempt from the reductions. He said OPEC stood ready to address those challenges “head on”.

Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Edmund Blair