Kuwait City (AFP)

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouk, whose country heads a committee to monitor crude output cuts, on Monday described as encouraging production reductions announced so far.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in November to cut its production by 1.2 million barrels per day starting January to reduce a global supply glut that had kept prices painfully low.

A group of 14 non-OPEC producers, led by the world's top crude producer Russia, agreed in December to lower their output by another 600,000 bpd, making the total pledged cuts at 1.8 million bpd.

"So far, all Gulf producers, Iraq and Russia have announced their commitment to the cuts," Marzouk told a news conference after talks with OPEC secretary general Mohammad Barkindo.

"These commitments make up between 60 percent and 70 percent of the pledged cuts" from the beginning of January, said the minister.

"We expect the compliance to the cuts to be big because of its impact on boosting prices."

Kuwait heads the five-member Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee set up to monitor compliance with the pledged cuts.

Marzouk said he discussed with Barkindo mechanisms to monitor the cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members.

The Kuwaiti minister said they discussed monitoring output of each member country and also the level of exports with the assistance of international companies.

Barkindo described as historic the agreement between the 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

Marzouk said the committee would meet in Vienna on January 21 and 22 to finalise the monitoring mechanisms.

Agence France-Presse

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