UAE energy minister says OPEC+ is not political

The United Arab Emirates energy minister said on Monday the OPEC+ alliance of oil producers was not a political organization and that its mission was to maintain a balanced market.

“It is not possible to discuss political issues in this organization,” Minister Suhail al-Mazroui told Asharq Business TV. “Nobody listened when we said more investments were needed in oil and gas. Raising production will only be in a measured way and through a consensus among members.”

Earlier on Monday, several sources close to OPEC+ told Reuters the group would likely stick to its plans for a modest increase in its oil output in May, despite a surge in prices due to the Ukraine crisis and calls from consumers for more supply.

Producers were not happy with higher energy prices, al-Mazroui said, but the group, comprised of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia, cannot oversupply the market.

“The criterion is the balance of supply and demand. Is there a need, and do we have the capacity?” he said.

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