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UAE energy minister sees no need for OPEC+ to change course on oil production hikes


Alliance will keep market balanced, Mazrouei says

OPEC+ ministers scheduled to meet Oct 4

Bloc aims to eliminate historic output cuts by late 2022

OPEC and its allies should maintain their agreement to keep raising crude production every month, UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said Sept. 21, adding that the oil market is "in a very good position today."

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"I don't see any reason why we shouldn't continue with the plan," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Gastech 2021 conference in Dubai. "I think the plan is working. We are doing our part, and the more we see the easing of pandemic measures, the more demand we will have."

The 23-country OPEC+ alliance is next scheduled to meet Oct. 4 to decide on November production quotas, with crude prices having trended upward in recent weeks. Platts assessed Dated Brent at $74.105/b on Sept. 21, up 11.5% over the past month, but down from the nearly three-year high of $78.385/b reached July 5.

The current OPEC+ accord calls for the alliance to increase production by 400,000 b/d every month, though ministers say they can adjust it according to market conditions.

Mazrouei refused to comment on current oil prices, saying the goal of OPEC+ ministers is to keep equilibrium between supply and demand.

"We will always keep the market balanced, so if we are required to pump more to keep the market balanced, we will do so, but that is something we will study with all the countries," he told S&P Global Platts separately.

Many forecasters, including OPEC's own analysts, see the market remaining tight through the end of the year as the world economy continues to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, before flipping into surplus in early 2022 due to seasonal factors.

But significant chunks of US crude production in the Gulf of Mexico remain offline in the wake of Hurricane Ida, while stubbornly high infection rates in many countries have made forecasting future demand difficult.