OPEC chief says IEA should be careful about discouraging investment in oil industry

OPEC Secretary General Haitham al-Ghais said on Thursday the International Energy Agency (IEA) should be “very careful” about discouraging investment in the oil industry, which was vital for global economic growth.

Such comments could lead to oil market volatility in future, he said.

Al-Ghais also said that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, were not targeting oil prices but focusing on market fundamentals. Finger pointing and misrepresenting the actions of the oil exporters and their allies was “counter-productive,” he said.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, has been critical of the OPEC+ group’s announcement earlier this month of production cuts of 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) from May until the end of 2023.

Oil prices rose above $80 a barrel on the back of the decision, having fallen as low as $70 per barrel last month.

Brent crude was trading at $77.99 a barrel at 0947 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $74.52.

Birol, in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, said OPEC should be careful about pushing oil prices up as that would translate into a weaker global economy.

On Thursday, al-Ghais said blaming oil for inflation was “erroneous and technically incorrect” and that the IEA’s repeated calls to stop investing in oil is what would lead to market volatility.

“If anything will lead to future volatility it is the IEA’s repeated calls to stop investing in oil, knowing that all data-driven outlooks envisage the need for more of this precious commodity to fuel global economic growth and prosperity in the decades to come, especially in the developing world.”

Related Articles

Back to top button