December 22, 2014 / 1:36 PM / 5 years ago

Saudi's Naimi says OPEC will not cut output however far oil falls: MEES

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia convinced its fellow OPEC members that it is not in the group’s interest to cut oil output however far prices may fall, the kingdom’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi said in an interview with the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES).

OPEC met on Nov. 27 and declined to cut production despite a slide in prices, marking a shift in strategy toward defending market share rather than supporting prices.

“As a policy for OPEC, and I convinced OPEC of this, even Mr al-Badri (the OPEC Secretary General) is now convinced, it is not in the interest of OPEC producers to cut their production, whatever the price is,” Naimi was quoted by MEES as saying.

“Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant,” he said.

He said that we “may not” see oil back at $100 a barrel, formerly Saudi Arabia’s preferred level for prices, again.

Reporting by London energy desk; Editing by Jane Merriman

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