November 19, 2018 / 12:49 PM / 23 days ago

IEA's Birol appeals for 'common sense' as oil producers weigh supply cut

International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol speaks during the "Rome 2015 MED, Mediterranean dialogues" forum in Rome, Italy, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi - GF10000262740

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Oil supply cuts by key producers could have negative implications for markets, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Monday, appealing to market players to use “common sense”.

IEA chief Fatih Birol, speaking at a news conference with central European energy ministers in Bratislava, said markets were currently well supplied but spare capacity in Saudi Arabia was thin and cuts by key players could tighten markets.

“Currently markets are very well supplied but we should not forget that spare capacity in Saudi Arabia is very thin, therefore cutting the production significantly today by key oil producers may have some negative implications for the markets and further tightening the markets,” he said.

“My appeal to all producers and consumers across the world is to have common sense in these difficult days.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, is pushing for the group and its partners to reduce output by 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day to prevent a build-up of unused fuel.

Oil rose for a fourth session in a row on Monday, buoyed by the prospect that Saudi Arabia will push OPEC and maybe Russia to cut supply towards the end of this year.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that Russia, which is not an OPEC member, planned to sign a partnership agreement with the group, and that details would be discussed at OPEC’s Dec. 6 meeting in Vienna.

Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Adrian Croft

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