Opec to stick to current plan, says UAE energy minister

Group set to decide whether to bring an extra 400,000 bpd of supply in October

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - February 15th, 2018: Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei. Thursday, February 15th, 2018. Ministry of Energy office, Al Falah Street, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Opec+, the exporters' group making corrections in the supply of crude oil, will stick to its plan to incrementally bring 2 million barrels per day back to the markets by the end of the year, the UAE's energy minister has said.

"I think that if things move as they are, of course that's a group decision, not a single country's decision, but I don't see any reason why we shouldn't continue with the plan," Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, told reporters at the Gastech energy industry event in Dubai.

"The plan is working, we are doing our part. And the more we see on the easing of the pandemic measures, the more demand we will have, and if there's demand we will definitely be up to increase the production as the market requires," he added.

Opec+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, is set to decide whether to bring an additional 400,000 bpd of supply in October.

Oil prices rose during the second trading session on Tuesday. Brent, the international benchmark, was up 1 per cent at $74.66 per barrel at 4.43pm UAE time. West Texas Intermediate, which tracks US crude grades, was up 1.01 per cent at $71 per barrel.

Opec expects oil demand for 2022 to exceed pre-pandemic levels, reaching 100.8 million bpd as the crude exporting group predicts a strong economic recovery on the back of widespread inoculation efforts, it said in its latest oil market report.

The global economy is forecast to grow 6 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund's last World Economic Outlook update in July.

The fund has warned of an uneven recovery due to unequal access to Covid-19 vaccines in emerging market and developing economies, where variants of the disease have led to a surge in infections. The IMF has called for multilateral action to reduce divergence across countries and strengthen global prospects.

Opec also revised estimated demand growth for 2022 upwards, by 900,000 bpd to 4.2 million bpd, amid expectations of higher levels of economic activity and fewer movement restrictions.

Mr Al Mazrouei said gas prices, which have risen by nearly 96 per cent so far this year, have also benefited from higher crude prices.

"Definitely the price of gas increased more than oil but also for a very good reason - the price of gas was extremely low especially looking at LNG [liquefied natural gas]," he told reporters.

"So what's the future price of gas? That's something we need to wait and see," he added.

Henry Hub prices averaged just below $5 per million British thermal units, after rising by nearly 36 per cent over the month.

Updated: September 21, 2021, 1:17 PM