Saudi Arabia is ‘not prepared’ to cut oil production, the Saudi foreign minister Adel Al Jubeir was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying Thursday, after the top exporter agreed with Russia to freeze output if major rivals follow.
"If other producers want to limit or agree to a freeze in terms of additional production that may have an impact on the market but Saudi Arabia is not prepared to cut production," Al Jubeir told AFP in an interview.
"The oil issue will be determined by supply and demand and by market forces. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will protect its market share and we have said so."
Oil prices rose more than 14 per cent over the last three days after a plan by Saudi Arabia and Russia, endorsed without commitment by Iran on Wednesday, to freeze oil output at January's highs.
The Saudi-Russian production freeze plan, also joined by Qatar and Venezuela, is the first such deal in 15 years between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-Opec members.