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UAE: Don't Blame OPEC+ For Oil Market Volatility

The extreme volatility in the oil market in recent weeks is the result of some buyers boycotting certain crudes and is not connected with OPEC+, and is outside the alliance's control, according to one of OPEC's top producers, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Extreme volatility is not because of supply and demand, it's because some don't want to buy certain crudes and it takes time for traders to move from one market to another," the UAE's Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said at a conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, as carried by Reuters.

The minister was apparently referring to the Western buyers' boycott of Russian oil, but he said that "The political issues that cause chaos is something outside of what we discuss."

"We are not siding with anyone," said the minister from the UAE, which is part of the OPEC+ coalition together with Russia.

During the same event, Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said that OPEC leaves politics "outside the building."

Despite calls for ramping up oil supply, especially after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the OPEC+ group has stayed the course since it started raising output in August last year and has agreed to lift output by the planned around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in each month following the start of the war.

Last week, OPEC+ group agreed to leave its production plan unchanged, aiming to boost crude oil production in June by 432,000 bpd, in a move widely expected by the market. This was the third OPEC+ meeting since one of the key members of the alliance, Russia, invaded Ukraine. For a third consecutive month, OPEC's press release on the record short meeting read that "it was noted that continuing oil market fundamentals and the consensus on the outlook pointed to a balanced market."

"It further noted the continuing effects of geopolitical factors and issues related to the ongoing pandemic," OPEC said after the meeting.

Meanwhile, the EU is scrambling to find a common position on a proposed oil embargo on Russia, trying to persuade Hungary and some other central European countries to drop their opposition to a ban.

"We made progress, but further work is needed," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said late on Monday following a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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