OPEC Secretary-General says Russia's membership vital to deal's success

OPEC’s new secretary-general said Russia’s OPEC+ membership is vital to the deal’s success, Kuwait’s Alrai newspaper reported on Sunday, citing an exclusive interview with Haitham al-Ghais.

The new leader said that OPEC is not in competition with Russia, calling it “a big, leading and highly influential player on the world energy map,” reported Alrai.

OPEC+ is an alliance of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia.

Al-Ghais, Kuwait’s former OPEC governor, will lead his first OPEC+ meeting on August 3, at which the group will consider keeping oil output unchanged for September, despite US calls for more supply. .

Still, a modest output increase is also likely to be discussed, eight sources told Reuters last week.

Al-Ghais told Alrai that “OPEC does not control oil prices, but practices what is called adjusting the markets in terms of supply and demand,” describing the current state of the oil market as “very volatile and turbulent.”

He added about the recent increases in oil prices: “As for me, I continue to emphasize that the recent increase in oil prices is not only related to the events between Russia and Ukraine.”

“All data confirms that prices began to rise gradually and cumulatively, and before the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian events, due to the prevailing perception in the markets that there is a shortage of spare production capacity, which has been limited to a few and limited countries,” al-Ghais said.

Brent Futures LCOc1 they soared in 2022 to their highest level since 2008, topping $139 a barrel in March, after the United States and Europe slapped sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Since then, prices have dropped to about 108 dollarsas skyrocketing inflation and higher interest rates raise fears of a recession that would erode demand.

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In response to a question about the factors that will affect oil prices at the end of the year, al-Ghais said: “From my point of view, the most important factor will be the continued lack of investment in the field of drilling, exploration and production”.


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