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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

'Opec is doing its part,' says UAE's Mazrouei

In June OPEC agreed on a modest increase in oil production starting in July 

The UAE's Oil Minister OPEC President Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei addresses a news conference after an OPEC meeting in Vienna last month when the oil group agreed on increasing production levels. Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
The UAE's Oil Minister OPEC President Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei addresses a news conference after an OPEC meeting in Vienna last month when the oil group agreed on increasing production levels. Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

The president of Opec defended the oil producer group on Monday against US President Donald Trump’s recent demands for higher oil output, saying Opec does not shoulder the blame.

“Opec alone cannot be blamed for all the problems that are happening in the oil industry, but at the same time we were responsive in terms of the measures we took in our latest meeting in June,” Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries President Suhail Al Mazrouei told Reuters in an interview in Calgary, Alberta.

"I feel Opec is doing its part."

Mr Trump has accused Opec in recent weeks of driving gasoline prices higher and stepped up pressure on US ally Saudi Arabia to raise supplies to compensate for lower exports from Iran.

Washington has warned that it will impose sanctions on foreign companies that do business with Iran, in an effort to cut Iran's exports of crude oil and condensates to zero from over 2 million barrels per day.

Mr Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy, said Opec was willing to listen to major oil-producing countries, including the United States.

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Read more:

Trump mounts pressure on Opec to increase supply as oil prices climb

Trump goes 'America First' on Opec, but his policy faces limitations

Saudi Arabia and UAE ready to boost oil supply to rebalance market if needed

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Opec agreed in June on a modest increase in oil production starting in July after its leader, Saudi Arabia, persuaded arch-rival Iran to cooperate, following calls from major consumers to curb rising fuel costs.

Global oil prices have climbed steadily this year, helped by rising demand, and topped $80 per barrel in May for the first time in 3-1/2 years.

Mr Mazrouei said Opec member crude producers had enough capacity to handle any unforeseen global supply disruptions. Opec is seeking a balance between supply and demand, not targeting a crude price, he said.

The UAE alone has 400,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of additional capacity, he said.

Mr Mazrouei said he did not anticipate needing to call any extraordinary meeting of Opec member countries before a scheduled meeting in December.

The Opec president is in Canada during its annual Calgary Stampede, a rodeo that serves as the year's biggest oil-industry networking party. Mr Mazrouei is scheduled to speak on Wednesday to a business group that promotes stronger trade ties between Canada and the UAE.

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