WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is in a fight to maintain a dominant share of the global energy market against its oil-producing competitors, US Senator John Hoeven told Sputnik.
"We are in a market share war right now," Hoeven said when asked about OPEC’s recent unwillingness to decrease production.
Saudi Arabia is pumping oil "very aggressively" despite the global oversupply, which further drives down the price, he noted.
A drop in oil production by OPEC would benefit overall oil price stability as well as producers in the United States, Hoeven added in a conversation with Sputnik.
"It would be advantageous, because I think you would see some response in the price," Hoeven said of a potential OPEC production cut.
Hoeven added that a decision by OPEC to reduce its output "would help <…> in terms of equalizing the supply and demand globally, and then you would see some stabilizing in the price."
The United States lifted its oil export ban last month, allowing US oil to be sold on the world market for the first time in 40 years.
Hoeven, who represents the oil-producing US state of North Dakota, warned that if US producers were forced out of business because of low prices and price instability, OPEC would be "in the driver’s seat" to push prices back up.
"You don’t want a situation where OPEC pushes prices down and then takes our industry out of business, because then they will raise prices right back up," Hoeven explained.
On Thursday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced a possible ministerial meeting between OPEC nations and other oil-producing states. The group may reportedly address issues including a possible 5-percent OPEC production cut to stabilize oil prices.