“With regard to the possibility developing relations with the minister of energy for the United States, I am in contact with him, we are always ready to develop a dialogue on energy between our countries,” Novak told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in an exclusive interview. “But the ball isn’t in our court.”
When asked to elaborate on what kind of relationship, the minister replied, “That’s not a question for me.”
Many major oil producers have struggled to bring in oil revenue to meet their budget needs as prices remain depressed in a low demand environment. The U.S.-China trade war and increased supply coming in from America’s shale fields have kept a lid on crude futures, despite production cuts orchestrated by OPEC and its non-OPEC partners, the latter of which have been led by Russia.
Still, Novak seemed confident that the U.S. shale boom’s days could end once the easily accessible resources were plundered.
Omar Marques | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Earlier in the day, Novak told reporters that U.S. shale output growth will slow as it struggles to attract finances for investment and raise its output.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects the U.S. to challenge Saudi Arabia’s position as the world’s leading oil exporter, after briefly overtaking the OPEC kingpin to claim the number one spot earlier this year.
The minister’s comments come shortly after the conclusion of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Abu Dhabi, with OPEC allies agreeing to ask over-producing members to bring production back in line with their targets.
The full coalition of OPEC and non-OPEC partners — sometimes referred to as “OPEC+” — will next meet in Vienna in early December to decide whether any further action to stabilize oil markets is required for 2020.
The group has struggled to shore up oil prices this year, amid booming U.S. production and a slowing global economy.
It has called into question whether OPEC+ really wields that much influence over oil markets.
—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.