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Saudi energy minister tells Houston audience he’s closely watching U.S. oil producers

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HOUSTON — Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says OPEC production cuts are working to bolster crude prices and his country will look at whether other oil-producing nations are living up to their promises to curtail pumping before deciding whether to extend the cutbacks beyond this summer.

Khalid al-Falih expressed no great alarm Tuesday about the recovery in American oil output since crude prices began rebounding in early 2016, although he indicated surprise at how quickly it bounced back.

The Energy Department said Tuesday that U.S. production averaged 8.9 million barrels a day last year, and it forecast increases to 9.2 million barrels a day this year and 9.7 million — a possible record — in 2018.

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Written by David Koenig of The Associated Press for DallasNews.com

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