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Oil prices would be double what they are today if it wasn’t for the concerted actions by OPEC+ to manage supply and demand, the United Arab Emirates said on Monday at the Africa Oil Week Conference in Dubai, Bloomberg reported.
The self-congratulatory remarks are similar to those uttered by Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman last week at the OPEC+ meeting presser.
According to the Saudi Energy ministry, oil isn’t the problem in the energy markets. The double-digit increases in oil prices are nothing compared to the triple-digit increases in the price of natural gas and coal, bin Salman said.
OPEC+ agreed last week to increase oil production by another 400,000 bpd in December, drawing backlash from major oil-consuming countries such as India, Japan, and the United States.
The White House in particular has been critical of OPEC+’s refusal to increase production by more than the agreed upon 400,000 bpd, accusing the group of not caring about the economic recovery.
The UAE added that OPEC+ should remain cautious in their approach to the oil market and with adding production back in. This, too, mirrors repeated comments from the Saudi Energy Ministry that warned oil demand still faced many challenges, including COVID lockdowns and jet fuel constrictions.
According to the UAE, the oil market will switch to a surplus in Q1 2022 due to softening demand.
The UAE reassured the markets, however, that OPEC+ could increase production to respond to market demands should the need arise—and it could do that in a matter of days.
“We are a phone call away from each other” UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said.
Mazrouei also said that the OPEC+ group agreed unanimously on capping oil production increases for December at 400,000 bpd—there were no holdouts pining for greater production increases.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.