February 11, 2020 / 12:57 PM / 16 days ago

U.S. not concerned by any new OPEC output cut, Brouillette says

VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States is not concerned by the prospect of further output cuts by OPEC and its allied oil producers, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

A technical panel that advises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, led by Russia, have proposed an additional output cut of 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), three sources told Reuters last week.

The group of producers, known as OPEC+, has already been implementing cuts of 1.2 million bpd since January 2019 to reduce the global supply glut and prop up crude prices. OPEC is meeting next month in Vienna.

“We’re not concerned about the decision that OPEC may make, and whatever decision they make will be good for them and we appreciate what they’re doing,” Brouillette told reporters on the sidelines of a conference at the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s headquarters in Vienna.

“They’re going to meet and they’re going to make a determination and a decision that’s best suited for them, but I think their ability to impact oil prices in the manner in which they did, you know, three, four, five decades ago is just fundamentally different,” Brouillette said.

He also said that while liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices are the lowest they’ve been in years, “the future is still bright for LNG”.

Global LNG prices have plunged to fresh record lows as the outbreak of coronavirus has cut demand for gas in China amid a glut in supply.

Prices have been collapsing for months on mild winter weather in Europe and Asia, record gas stockpiles in Europe and lower economic growth due to the U.S.-China trade war.

U.S. gas producers are counting on LNG exports growing spectacularly in the coming years to absorb record amounts of gas associated with oil output from shale formations like the Permian Basin in West Texas and North Dakota’s Bakken field.

“There’s a tremendous amount of demand for LNG around the world. Conversations with China have gone well... and I fully expect that in the course of the next few months you’ll see additional agreements not only in China but in Europe,” Brouillette said.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Edmund Blair and Jan Harvey

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