"I do believe however that the worst is behind us with multiple leading indicators showing that supply-demand balance is clearly in deficit and the market is moving towards rebalancing".
The global oil market will soon rebalance and return to a "healthy state", Al-Falih said at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference today.
'We need to see the OPEC/non-OPEC deal extended to 2018, otherwise there's a risk oil prices will fall below US40, ' Alexandre Andlauer, an analyst at AlphaValue SAS in Paris, said by email.
Late previous year, OPEC and top non-OPEC members like Russian Federation agreed to trim production for six months to ease the worldwide inventory glut and prop up prices.
"Compliance rates, in my opinion, will not be as high as they were in past months".
"The economy could slow more sharply than ... expected", he said. Saudi Arabia was expected to export full volumes of crude oil to at least three Asian clients in May, in a move suggesting that the Kingdom is determined to maintain its market share on the prized Asian market. "We don't want to create a shortage or squeeze". According to data aggregator S&P Global Platts, there was a significant month-over-month decline in the country's crude imports in April at approximately 8.37m bpd, down 800,000 bpd in March.
Crude oil prices have stabilised as an extension to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (Opec) deal looks increasingly likely. Prices slid 5.1 per cent last week. "I expect we (Nigeria) will get OPEC exemption but one year from now will it be renewed?"
Earlier, Russia and Saudi Arabia spoke in support of extending the current cuts past their June 30 expiration into 2018, and Kuwaiti Energy Minister Essam al-Marzouq also said there "is nearly consensus about the importance of extending the agreement for at least six months", adding that his country supports it.
The producers have been frustrated by the fact the process is slow and complicated and does not show up right away in the most visible data, such as U.S. inventory.
The minister referred to a "semi - consenus" on the extension of production cut deal for a new six-month period during the coming Opec and non-Opec producers' meeting, due in Vienna on May 25.
But rollovers generally had little impact on prices or even a slightly negative effect ("The behavior of crude oil spot and futures prices around OPEC and SPR announcements", Demirer and Kutan, 2010).