The two top OPEC oil producers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, can only increase oil production, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are perceived to be the only two countries in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which have the capacity to spare to increase global deliveries that could reduce prices.
“I called with MbZ,” Macron said, using the acronym for UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan to US President Joe Biden on the side of the G7 summit. “They told me two things.
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“And then he said (the) Saudis could increase to 150 (a thousand barrels a day). Maybe a little more, but they don’t have the big capabilities before six months’ time,” Macron said.
UAE’s top energy official confirmed Macron’s statement to the country’s state news agency.
“In light of recent media reports, I would like to make it clear that the UAE is producing near its maximum production capacity based on its current OPEC + production baseline,” Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed Al Majroi said.
World oil prices have been rising steadily in recent months due to a lack of supply and a rebound from the worst demand for the coronavirus epidemic. Prices have gone up further since Moscow invaded Ukraine in late February.
On Monday, the benchmark crude rose after Reuters reported Macron’s comments. Brent oil prices rose 1.7% to $ 115 per barrel as the West looked for ways to reduce Russian oil imports to punish Moscow.
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Saudi Arabia is producing 10.5 million bpd and has a nominal capacity of 12.0 million-12.5 bpd, which in theory would allow it to increase production by 2 million bpd.
The UAE is producing about 3 million bpd, has a capacity of 3.4 million and is working on raising it to 4 million bpd.
Europe is looking for ways to replace 2 million bpd of Russian crude oil and about 2 million bpd of refined products imported from Moscow before the war in Ukraine.