Kuwait's oil minister said on Wednesday the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member will have to accept any market price of oil whether it is $60, $80 or $100 a barrel.
"We have to live either with $80 or with $60 or with $100," Ali Saleh Al Omair told reporters a day before an OPEC meeting will debate how to tackle oil prices that have fallen by a third since June to below $80 per barrel, reports Reuters.
Al Omair's comments came as oil prices fell to four-year lows on Thursday as it appeared unlikely producer club OPEC would decide to cut output in support of prices at a meeting this week, and as increasing Chinese and US stocks boosted available supplies.
The Gulf producers within the OPEC - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - said on Wednesday that they will not propose an output cut during the offical meeting on Thursday, reducing the likelihood of joint action by OPEC to prop up prices that have sunk by a third since June.
Benchmark Brent futures dropped over $1 in Asian morning trading on Thursday to a low of $76.28 a barrel, their lowest level since September 2010, and U.S. crude was also down over $1 to a session low of $72.61 a barrel.
Following the sharp falls, both contracts recovered slightly to $76.56 and $72.80 a barrel respectively at 0253 GMT.
"Crude oil prices declined... Saudi Arabia for the first time provided a firmer stance on their view on cutting production, indicating they believe the oil market will stabilise itself," ANZ bank said in a morning note on Thursday.
"This comes as crude oil inventories in the USA rose for the second week, increasing by 1.9 million barrels, according to EIA," it added.
In China, the government has quietly increased its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) to around 30 days' worth of imports, double the amount its official plan has revealed, as the world's top energy consumer takes advantage of a dive in prices to strengthen its position in the global oil market.