RIYADH: Extending the current OPEC+ deal is the “basis of the agreement” and it’s not a “branch” of it, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said Sunday, stressing on the need of the alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC to continue the agreement to restrain production after it ends in April 2022.
“The extension is there in the agreement… while increasing (production) isn’t mentioned,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV.
The Saudi energy minister also said on Sunday that there should be an increase in production to meet an expected decline in oil supply during the summer period.
The minister hailed the efforts made by the alliance, known as OPEC+, under the current agreement to restore the market balance, adding that its success wasn’t possible without the extra voluntary cuts that Saudi Arabia made under the current agreement.
“I represent a balanced country, which takes into account the interests of everyone in its role, as the head of OPEC +,” Prince Abdulaziz said. “Saudi Arabia has made the biggest sacrifice, and without its leadership, the oil market would not have improved.”
There is consensus between OPEC+ member states regarding baseline oil output, except for one country, the energy minister said.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said no country could use a single month as a baseline production reference, in the televised interview.
The energy minister added that he was “neither optimistic nor pessimistic” about talks between OPEC+ countries set to resume on Monday.
UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Sunday that his country supports OPEC+ proposal to increase production over the coming months till the end of the year, but mentioned that his country will seek better terms with other producers in the alliance.