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Saudi Arabia, UAE Say OPEC+ Mission Is to Stabilize Market

Saudi Arabia, UAE Say OPEC+ Mission Is to Stabilize Market

Wednesday, 30 March, 2022 - 08:15
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei at the World Government Summit in Dubai. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia and the UAE reiterated that OPEC+ has only a mission to "stabilize the market," adding that the alliance keeps politics out of its decision-making in favor of the "common good" of energy prices.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that the focus is on balancing crude oil markets and satisfying the needs of consumers.

If the security of oil supplies is threatened, the world economy will suffer, said the minister, adding that security is a priority now, and some countries are forgetting about the affordability of energy.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, Prince Abdulaziz reiterated that the Kingdom is not responsible for any shortage in oil supplies to the international markets because this issue does not receive the necessary attention.

The minister recalled his speech at the COP26 in Glasgow, during which he asserted the importance of maintaining energy security, economic prosperity and growth, and addressing climate change.

However, the attendees did not pay enough attention to that, and now all everyone is discussing energy security, noted the Saudi official.

Prince Abdulaziz said that governments should work together to ensure energy security, adding that the Gulf countries are doing their part, but others should fulfill their commitments.

Asked by the moderator about whether OPEC+ has a moral responsibility to expel Russia, Prince Abdulaziz replied, "everybody leaves his politics at the door" when they hold meetings.

"If we don't do that, we would not have dealt with so many countries at different times. It could have been with Iraq at one point. It could have been with Iran at one point."

"I ask you, who has been throwing these rockets and missiles at Abu Dhabi and us? Who is financing? Who's training?" he said.

"Who's supplying these weapons? It is a member of OPEC. I leave it for your imagination ... A cynical mind sometimes helps."

Despite the current volatility, OPEC+ is a fundamental pillar to ensure a sustainable energy market, said the minister, adding that hadn't it been for the alliance, energy prices would have been significantly changed.

The minister noted that OPEC and OPEC+ had dealt with various countries embroiled in conflict or acts of aggression throughout its history.

He explained that these matters and issues are addressed "in an entirely siloed type of approach whereby we are much more focused on the common good, regardless of the politics."

According to the minister, Saudi Arabia is interested in reducing carbon emissions by adopting a zero-emission policy, focusing on clean and renewable energy.

The OPEC+ alliance is expected to meet Thursday to decide on production levels for May.

Speaking at the same event, UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the focus was balancing crude oil markets and satisfying consumers, adding that the only mission was stabilizing the market.

"We cannot be politicizing or bringing politics to the organization having that debate ... our aim is to calm the market," sstressed Mazrouei.

"If we are asking anyone to leave, then we are raising the prices, then we are doing something that is against what consumers want."

The minister said terrorist organizations are targeting the region. These attacks must stop, he urged, stressing that energy security has become a priority.

Mazrouei called on governments to deal logically with the energy issues to ensure they won't affect the increase in global prices, noting that the geopolitical developments affect the entire supply chain and increase costs of food and essential commodities worldwide.

The minister warned that many countries would be affected if there was no peaceful solution through negotiations and understandings to current world developments.

The UAE plans to increase its oil production to five million barrels per day by 2030, announced Mazrouei, stressing that the world will need these quantities.

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