UAE: OPEC+ eager to achieve stability, balance in the energy sector

Al Mazrouei's speech at ADIPEC 2023 highlighted need for oil and gas investment
UAE: OPEC+ eager to achieve stability, balance in the energy sector
During Al Mazrouei's participation at ADIPEC 2023 (Photo from WAM)

During the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Expo and Conference (ADIPEC), Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy, made an announcement emphasizing OPEC+’s strong commitment to achieving stability and balance in the energy sector. Al Mazrouei highlighted the necessity for increased investment in the oil and gas industry to ensure reasonable fuel prices for consumers at gas stations.

Read more: ADIPEC gathers global stakeholders to accelerate energy transition

Mazrouei delivered his speech ahead of the Wednesday gathering of the OPEC-Allies Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which encompasses Russia as a member of the OPEC+ alliance.

According to sources cited by Reuters, it is unlikely that the Committee will propose any revisions to the existing oil production policy. However, if deemed necessary, the Committee could request a complete meeting of OPEC+ to address the situation.

Al Mazrouei stressed that the pricing of fuel for consumers at gas stations would be influenced by the intention to persist in investing in fossil fuels.

Al Mazrouei highlighted that while the current fuel prices may be suitable for consumers in the short term, it would be short-sighted to consider them appropriate for an extended period. He highlighted the necessity for increased investment in the oil and gas sector to ensure that fuel prices remain suitable for consumers at gas stations in the long run.

When questioned about the potential negative impact of higher crude oil prices on the global economy, the Minister clarified that OPEC+ does not aim for a specific fixed price for oil.

During the same conference, OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais expressed optimism regarding the demand for energy and highlighted that underinvestment posed a threat to energy security.

Sustained investment

Al Ghais spotlighted the significance of sustained investment in the oil and gas sector and expressed the belief that advocating for a cessation of oil investment would have counterproductive effects.

He said that for years, he has been addressing the risk of underinvestment in our industry at OPEC. While some voices advocate for reduced or no investment in the oil sector, citing the ongoing transition phase, he emphasized the need for a fair, organized, and inclusive approach. It is crucial to have a clear roadmap that outlines our destination and the path to get there. This has been a long-standing call from OPEC, underscoring the significance of investing in the oil and gas industry, particularly in oil.

“We are witnessing calls to halt investments in the oil industry, but we believe these calls are not constructive. Such calls jeopardize nations by undermining energy security, which serves as the foundation for the prosperity of today’s global economies,” he added.

Energy security

“At OPEC, our aim is to ensure energy security by carefully managing reserves. It’s not just about investments in oil production; we must consider the entire value chain. We have a diverse range of industry stakeholders involved. Our investments extend beyond field production to include refining, petrochemicals, and all aspects that drive the industry and propel the global economy forward. This encompasses shipping and transportation activities, forming integrated value chains,” noted Al Ghais.

Furthermore, he said “We maintain our expectation that oil demand will remain robust this year, matching the strength of demand observed in the previous year,” he stated, highlighting that the organization’s forecast anticipates a year-on-year growth in demand of over 2.3 million barrels per day.

Call for commitment

Emphasizing the significance of investment in the oil and gas sector for energy security, the UAE Minister of Energy reiterated the call for both international and national oil companies to make necessary investments. Al Mazrouei further highlighted that such investments require a resolute commitment from the financial community to finance oil and gas projects. In a later statement to reporters, he mentioned that the UAE is on course to enhance its oil production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2027, up from the current 4.2 million.

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