UAE says it is committed to Opec and supports output increase in August

The Opec+ alliance, which is led by Riyadh and Moscow, is set to convene its ministerial meeting tomorrow

The UAE, Opec's third-largest producer, remains committed to the oil-exporters' bloc and the Opec+ alliance, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said on Sunday.

The Emirates, which has adhered to Opec+'s production curbs with a 103 per cent compliance rate throughout the latter's two-year term, "believes that the market needs an increase in production and supports an increase from August", it said, according to a report by state-run news agency Wam.

It called on members of the exporters' group to "decouple" output restrictions from a planned extension of the agreement beyond April 2022.

"The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee unfortunately only put one option forward – to increase production on the condition of an extension to the current agreement – which would prolong the UAE’s unfair reference production baseline until December 2022, from the existing agreement end date of April 2022," it said.

Opec+, the group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, deferred a ministerial meeting to Monday in light of some members' opposition to an extension of the cuts until the end of next year.

The group is considering bringing back 2 million barrels per day to the markets by the end of the year.

The group came together at the height of the coronavirus-induced demand crunch to undertake record output curbs of about 10 million bpd last year.

With economies opening amid vaccine distribution in developed nations, Opec anticipates resurgent demand and is looking to bring back more barrels to meet energy requirements.

The UAE, which plans to raise its production capacity to 5 million bpd by 2030, is concerned about an outdated baseline reference that is currently being used to assign its production quotas.

"The UAE and its international partners have invested significantly in growing its production capacity and believes that, if or when the agreement is extended, the baseline reference figures should reflect its actual production capacity, rather than the outdated October 2018 production reference," the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said.

According to secondary Opec sources, the country's output for the month of May stood at 2.64 million bpd.

The ministry urged the UAE's fellow producers to review terms for an extension at a later time.

"There is plenty of time to review terms for its extension and we see no need for such a condition to be included at this time," it said.

In an interview with CNBC on Sunday, Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said the historic agreement reached by Opec+ was not "a fair deal but it was a must deal; we had to do it".

"Everyone sacrificed but, unfortunately, the UAE sacrificed the most, making one third of our production idle for two years," he said.

"But we did that for the sake of the group, for the sake of correcting the market, for the sake of the world economy and we have done a lot together."

He said the current recommendation by Opec+ to continue using a 2018 production baseline to extend the agreement beyond April 2022 was "just not realistic".

Updated: July 5th 2021, 1:56 PM
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