Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Naimi Says Supply Matches Dem

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al- Naimi said demand for crude matches supply and the global market is stable.

“The market is functioning well,” Naimi told reporters in Cairo before a meeting tomorrow of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. “Supply is adequate. Demand matches supply. If there is extra supply it is helping inventories.”

Oil in New York fell for the first time in six days on concern U.S. lawmakers will fail to reach a deal to avert a fiscal crisis, threatening the economy of the world’s biggest crude consumer.

Oil futures for February delivery fell as much as $2.17, or 2.4 percent, to $87.96 a barrel today on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $88.60 a barrel at 2:02 p.m. local time.

“There are customers who will come to every producer and ask for volume,” Naimi said when asked whether the world’s largest exporter would return to an individual quota. “Saudi will honor the requests of its customers.”

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided Dec. 12 to keep its production target unchanged for a second time this year. Saudi Arabia is the biggest crude-producer in OPEC. The 12-member group will meet next on May 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Galal in Cairo at ogalal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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