Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said he would keep short sellers "ouching" and told them to "watch out", days before a planned Opec+ meeting to decide on future oil policy.
"Speculators, like in any market they are there to stay, I keep advising them that they will be ouching, they did ouch in April I don't have to show my cards I'm not a poker player ...but I would just tell them watch out," he told the Qatar Economic Forum organised by Bloomberg.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, and other Opec+ producers announced surprise voluntary cuts in April that lifted prices after a slump driven by concerns that a banking crisis could impact demand.
Opec+ members are due to meet on June 4 in Vienna to decide on their next course of action.
The April cuts were described as "inadvisable" by Washington, which had also been critical of the group's decision to cut production in October.
The minister said the alliance would continue to be proactive, preemptive and hedge against what may come in the future, regardless of any criticism.
"We should be brave enough to attend to the future without continuing the so-called 'kicking the can' policies, those policies that may allow us to fend the situation for this month, next month or the month after but with that we are losing sight of our intentions and our more important objectives," he said. -Reuters