September 2, 2016 / 9:11 AM / 3 years ago

Saudi minister says OPEC moving to common position on oil output changes

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir gives a speech at Peking University in Beijing, China, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

TOKYO (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s minister of foreign affairs said on Thursday that it would be reasonable for the kingdom to go along with other producers in changes to oil production.

Adel al-Jubeir, speaking at an event in Tokyo, said OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers were increasingly moving towards a common position.

“I think there is a move towards a common position, towards a common effort,” he said. “If other producers were to agree it is reasonable to accept Saudi Arabia to go along with it.”

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are due to meet informally in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF) on Sept. 26-28, and are expected to seek to revive a global output freeze deal.

Russia is also expected to attend the IEF.

“If you want to have an impact then all of us have to shoulder the responsibility, and I believe over the past five or six months, I believe that there has been an increasing realization that this is a collective effort,” Al-Jubeir said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said this week that OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia would support a decision to freeze oil output to prop up prices, although the country’s oil minister has said it wants to continue to ramp up production.

Iran was also sending positive signals that it could support joint action to support the oil market, sources in OPEC and the oil industry told Reuters last month.

Tehran refused to join a previous attempt this year by OPEC plus non-members such as Russia to stabilize production, and talks collapsed in April.

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Richard Pullin

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