Kazakhstan: OPEC, non-OPEC nations must stabilize oil prices in first-quarter

The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside their headquarters in Vienna, Austria December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan expects the participants in a pact to curb global oil output to stabilize prices in the first quarter of 2019 and make a joint statement next month “in order to support the market”, Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said on Wednesday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, along with non-OPEC members such as Russia, agreed this month to begin curbing production in January to reduce a supply glut that has pressured benchmark crude prices to their lowest in more than a year.

“All these countries must stabilize the situation with energetic measures in January-February-March, prices must stabilize and enter a more or less positive range,” Bozumbayev told a briefing.

He provided no details about the expected January statement but said he had discussed the situation with key pact members including Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo.

Kazakhstan plans to reduce its own output to 89.5 million tonnes next year from 90.3 million tonnes this year, due in part to planned maintenance shutdowns at its three largest oil fields, Kashagan, Karachaganak and Tengiz, Bozumbayev said.

Reporting by Tamara Vaal; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Christian Schmollinger