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The energy ministers of the world’s leading industrial nations on Friday urged OPEC to increase oil supply amid high oil prices that are hitting consumers and threatening an economic slowdown.
“We call on oil and gas producing countries to act in a responsible manner and to respond to tightening international markets, noting that Opec has a key role to play,” the G7 energy ministers said in a communique, carried by the Financial Times, at the end of a two-day summit in Berlin.
The energy ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. also noted that the European Union needs to cut its heavy reliance on Russian natural gas as a matter of “special urgency.”
LNG supply will play an important role in mitigating potential supply disruptions of pipeline gas in Europe, the ministers added.
The G7 group committed earlier this month to stop buying Russian oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although they did not specify how and when the halt of oil purchases from Moscow would happen.
The call on OPEC to boost supply is the latest urge to the cartel from oil-importing nations, many of which grapple with the highest gasoline and diesel prices on record, such as the U.S., for example, and with skyrocketing energy bills, especially Europe.
OPEC and the wider OPEC+ group that includes Russia, for their part, seem unfazed by the incessant pressure from importers to open the taps.
OPEC+ is expected to rubberstamp next week its moderate monthly increases in oil production when it decides output levels for July, six sources at OPEC+ told Reuters on Thursday.
Commenting on the calls to boost supply more than planned, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said in Davos this week that “It’s much more complex than just bringing barrels to the market.”
“Our assessment is that actually oil supply right now is relatively in balance,” the minister added, as carried by Bloomberg.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com