DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ energy minister on Monday doubled down on an oil alliance with Russia that has helped lift crude prices to their highest level in years amid war of Moscow against Ukraine is shaking the markets and driving up the prices of energy and raw materials.
The minister said that Russia, with its 10 million barrels of oil per day, is an important member of the OPEC+ global energy alliance.
“And leaving politics aside, this volume is needed today,” Suhail al-Mazrouei said. “Unless someone wants to come in and bring 10 million barrels, we don’t see anyone being able to replace Russia.”
Led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the alliance has the ability to boost oil production and drive down crude prices that have topped $100 a barrel.
The United States, European countries, Japan and others have called on Arab Gulf oil producers to do more to help lower prices. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid an in-person visit this month to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, where he raised the issue.
Al-Mazrouei described the OPEC+ alliance as an alliance that is here to stay and dismissed any suggestion that the UAE would go it alone and increase production unilaterally.
“Stay together, stay focused and not let politics come into play in this organization…we always believe that whatever we do as a country in terms of production and work, always stay out of politics “, he added. -Mazrouei added.
The OPEC+ alliance stuck to its plan to gradually increase oil production based on a deal struck at the height of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns when producers made deep production cuts to compensate for the drop in fuel demand. Rising oil prices have been good for oil-producing economies. Despite diversification efforts, the Arab Gulf States continue to rely heavily on energy exports to fuel their economies.
Al-Mazrouei also used his speech at the Atlantic Council’s World Energy Forum in Dubai to push for increased investment in oil and gas, even as his country moves towards reducing emissions within the borders of the United Arab Emirates and is committed to meeting its commitment to net zero by 2050.
In an apparent critique of NATO policy, the minister said Russia’s war in Ukraine – which he described as a crisis – needs to be resolved through diplomacy and “not by pouring more ‘weapons in the situation because, basically, the people are going to be the victim’.
Prices also rose as Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil producer, faces continued cross-border attacks by Houthi rebels from neighboring Yemen who have used drones and missiles to target oil facilities. of the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia said it would not bear any responsibility in the event of an oil shortage due to the attacks.
Despite US condemnation of the Houthis and US-supplied anti-missile systems for Saudi Arabia, relations between the Biden administration and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman remain strained and there have been no direct call between the two since the inauguration of the American president.
“We lived on a roller coaster, seeing prices go up and down,” al-Mazrouei acknowledged. He gave no indication that OPEC producers were considering changing course, but noted that “we’re in an environment where everyone is saying increase your production.”
“We definitely need all the resources available right now,” he said, lambasting efforts to pull out of oil and gas investments.
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