Energy minister: Global developments vindicate decision of OPEC+ on output cut

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Sunday that the OPEC+ alliance decision to cut oil production by two million barrels per day was proven to be the correct one when recent developments are taken into consideration.

Addressing the Saudi Arabia Budget Forum 2023 in Riyadh on Sunday, he said that consensus has positive implications on the market and that the alliance would continue to focus on market stability in the year ahead.

The alliance, which groups together members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, last met on December 4 and decided to keep output unchanged.

The minister stressed that global developments have proven the validity of OPEC+ decisions.

The minister insisted that every OPEC+ alliance member takes part in decision-making.

“Group action requires agreement and therefore I continue to insist that every OPEC+ member, whether a big or small producer be a part of decision-making,” Prince Abdulaziz told the forum.

“OPEC+ has succeeded in overcoming all geopolitical challenges and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as overcoming a lot of pressures and putting preserving the market in the first place,” he said.

Prince Abdulaziz pointed out that OPEC+ operates according to an economic perspective away from political affairs.

“The OPEC+ group is keen to reduce market fluctuations, and it has programs, vision, and targets to preserve the energy market.”

The minister said the impact of European sanctions on Russian crude oil and price cap measures did not bring clear results yet and its implementation was still unclear.

The Group of 7 price cap on Russian seaborne oil came into effect on December 5 as the West tries to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

Russia has said it would not abide by the measure even if it has to cut its production.

“What is happening now in terms of sanctions and price caps imposed and all of it really did not bring clear results, including measures implemented on December 5, and we see a state of uncertainty in implementation,” he said.

The OPEC+ alliance, which met on Dec. 4, reaffirmed its previous decisions, including adjusting the frequency of the monthly meetings of the Joint Ministerial Committee to monitor production, to be every two months, while giving the committee the authority to hold additional meetings, or to request the holding of the ministerial meeting of member states at any time, to deal with any market developments, whenever required.