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OPEC+ Doesn’t Mix Politics And Economics, Saudi And UAE Energy Ministers Tell Dubai Summit

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By Dana Alomar

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OPEC+ doesn’t mix politics and economics, Saudi and UAE energy ministers told the World Government Summit in Dubai.

In a panel discussion both ministers dismissed the idea that the alliance will operate without Russia.

UAE’s Suhail Al-Mazrouei stated that they are not taking sides nor saying this is right or wrong within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+.

In his view, OPEC+ cannot be forced to expel some of its partners, as this will lead to a rise in oil prices, Al-Mazrouei said.

Commenting on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that OPEC puts political differences aside when its ministers meet and OPEC+ is doing the same. They discuss these matters in a silo-based approach where they are focused on common good, regardless of politics, he added.

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He added that when it comes to OPEC+, everyone leaves discussions of politics “outside the door of that building.” 

Without that, OPEC+ wouldn’t have been able to deal with many different countries at different times, he said.

“Russia is a country that produces roughly 10 million barrels a day, which is 10 percent of what the world is consuming, and also produces a good amount of gas…so it is a sizable contribution,” he added.

According to the Prince, if it hadn’t been for OPEC+, there would not be a sustainable energy market amid today’s volatility. They would have been faced with worse possibilities, he said.

The Prince also warned that Saudi Arabia cannot be responsible alone for supply security if its oil facilities are under constant attacks, adding that these attacks are backed and financed by an “OPEC member.”

UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries including Norway are working on hitting net zero carbon goals, the Prince said.

“The Vikings are coming and the Bedouins too,” he said, to assure that Norway, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are committed to their targets.

In response to a question regarding the US, he said the White House must not tell the OPEC+ what to do.

Al-Mazrouei said they are experts in their fields and have been doing it for a long time and been successful. “So we need their understanding that what we are doing is to the benefit of the consumers, in the US and worldwide,” he said.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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