Stabroek News

OPEC+ to stick to production cut, Saudi minister tells Energy Intelligen­ce


CAIRO, (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Energy Intelligen­ce in an interview yesterday the OPEC+ alliance will stick until the end of the year to production cuts agreed in October.

“There are those who continue to think we would adjust the agreement ... I say they need to wait until Friday Dec 29 2023 to demonstrat­e to them our commitment to the current agreement.”

Prince Abdulaziz also said the U.S. Senate’s proposed NOPEC bill was a different concept from price caps that have been imposed by Western countries on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine, yet they had similar potential impacts on the oil market.

Last week, U.S. senators from both political parties reintroduc­ed the so-called No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels, or NOPEC, bill. If passed it would change U.S. antitrust law to revoke the sovereign immunity that has protected members of the OPEC+ alliance and their national oil companies from lawsuits over price collusion.

There have been several attempts to pass the NOPEC bill over more than two decades.

“The NOPEC bill does not recognize the importance of holding spare capacity and the consequenc­es of not holding spare capacity on market stability,” he said.

The NOPEC bill would undermine investment­s in oil capacity and cause global supply to fall, he said and any price caps would have a similar effect.

The prince said price caps whether imposed on a country or a group of countries would lead to “individual or collective counter-responses with intolerabl­e consequenc­es in the form of massive volatility and instabilit­y.”

“If a price cap were to be imposed on Saudi oil exports, we will not sell oil to any country that imposes a price cap on our supply and we will reduce oil production and I would not be surprised if others do the same.”

James Hecker, who oversees the U.S. Air Force in the region, said in a statement.

Russia’s defence ministry denied that its aircraft had come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which it said had crashed after “sharp manoeuvrin­g”. It said the drone had been detected near the Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

“The Russian fighters did not use their onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV and returned safely to their home airfield,” the defence ministry said.

The accounts of the incident in the Black Sea, which is bordered by Russia and Ukraine among other countries, could not be independen­tly verified.

“This is a very sensitive stage in this conflict because it really is the first direct contact that the public knows about between the West and Russia,” said Elisabeth Braw, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

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