Al Mazrouei suggests unofficial cartel could extend alliance

UAE Energy Minister hopeful that group of 24 countries currently cutting production will work even closer in the future.

The UAE's Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei.
The UAE's Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei.

The UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei has indicated that the cartel of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and non-members currently working together to cut back crude production in the face of rising US tight oil output, and in a bid to reinforce the global market, could continue working together for the foreseeable future, according to the Reuters news agency.

Al Mazrouei, who is also the president of the OPEC conference, said “I think the idea itself is liked by, if not all, the majority of the countries.” He added, “The ultimate target is to have this group working together for way longer than those two years than we've been working together."

A group of 24 countries spearheaded by leading OPEC pumper Saudi Arabia and Russia have been scaling back production since the start of last year and are committed to the strategy until at least the end of 2018.

Oil prices have touched $70 a barrel at points this year as strong global demand has helped offset continuing US production spikes. Al Mazrouei sees the alliance getting stronger and more united, telling the news agency the aim for the group was to build on progress made since the deal began on sharing information and building trust.

"The objective is to have this group of responsible producers communicating, looking at the market together," he said, adding that better communication has helped to overcome misunderstandings among the various oil producers.

"I think the level of trust has increased significantly among us. We call each other, the ministers, and the technical people and commercial people in those countries, they are in direct communication."

In its latest monthly report of the global market OPEC has indicated that global stocks declined by more than 17mn barrels in the developed world in February, and stock levels are now more than 200mn barrels below where they were a year ago.

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