The United Arab Emirates said oil prices would be even higher today without OPEC +, signaling that the agency would continue to resist US pressure to increase production.
“Fortunately we have OPEC +,” UAE Energy Minister Al-Mazrouei told the Africa Oil Week conference in Dubai on Monday, according to Bloomberg. OPEC + has prevented “having double or triple prices and that is something we should appreciate,” he added.
Brent crude has risen 62% so far this year to almost $ 84 a barrel, boosted by the international economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and OPEC + supply cuts, which began early last year.
OPEC + has increased production by 400,000 barrels a day on a monthly basis, but the US and other countries, such as Japan and India, are pushing the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia and other OPEC + members to accelerate production increases.
Al-Mazrouei stressed that the oil market is much “calmer” than that of gas and coal. Gas prices have more than doubled this year in Europe and Asia amid severe shortages, causing rising electricity costs and hurting economies from China to India.
“If it were not for OPEC +, you would see something similar to what happened to gas and coal,” said Al-Mazrouei, adding: “We are working to balance the market.”
OPEC + should remain cautious because the oil market will be in surplus in the first quarter of next year, he noted. “This is due to declining demand,” he said.
However, the members of the organization may hold a new meeting in a few days if the situation changes and OPEC + needs to adjust its policy.
“Countries will work to ensure that there is no ‘huge price increase’ that could knock the world economy down,” he said.
The UAE Minister of Energy said that the decision of OPEC + last week was unanimous and no member proposed a daily increase of more than 400,000 barrels.
He blamed rising gas and coal prices on governments that discourage investment in fossil fuels and try to switch too quickly to renewable energy sources.
The UAE has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 2050, although it will continue with a multi-billion dollar project to increase crude production to 5 million barrels a day from just over 4 million.
“Oil and gas are necessary to move faster in our 2050 and 2060 carbon neutrality commitments,” he said. Rises in energy prices will be more frequent “if we do not invest enough”.
Source From: Capital