Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said that oil consuming nations are also trying to manage the oil market, thus questioning if the new US bill would aim at them as well.
Talking about the US bill, dubbed NOPEC, that could open members of OPEC and its partners to antitrust lawsuits for orchestrating supply cuts that raise global crude prices, Prince Abdulaziz questioned whether it would also apply to consuming nations which have released crude from strategic reserves in an attempt to manage the market.
While talking at the opening of the 29th Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Bahrain, the energy minister revealed that oil demand has increased post-pandemic, but there is no refining capacity commensurate with the current demand.
This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)
He also made it clear that there are no issues surrounding the availability of crude.
"We have no money to waste on anywhere else," he told the conference.
“It is not only OPEC that is trying to manage the market, it is also the consumers...so I don’t know about this NOPEC if it is going to be inclusive of all or just those who are producing?” he told the conference.
The minister has said the Kingdom could produce between 13.2-13.4 million barrels of oil per day by the end of 2026 or beginning of 2027 thanks to increased output in the divided zone.
Durra gas field
On the Durra natural gas field, located in an energy-rich area shared with Kuwait, the minister said both countries were proceeding with its development.
Iran says it has a stake in the field and considers a Saudi-Kuwaiti agreement signed earlier this year to develop it “illegal.”
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait invited Iran in April to hold negotiations to determine the eastern limit of the joint offshore area and reaffirmed their right to develop the gas field located within it.
“We are proceeding with that field, we have made a joint public statement encouraging Iran to come to the negotiation table if they claim they have a piece of that and it remains a claim,” Prince Abdulaziz said, adding Saudi Arabia and Kuwait wanted to work together in any discussions as they had a common interest in the resources.
Prince Abdulaziz also took a swipe at world leaders claiming there is a transition to cleaner energy sources, saying that countries are buying coal for almost four times the previous price and also telling France not to push ahead with new nuclear energy provisions.
The prince also told the conference that oil prices aren't rising as fast as other energy sources and that shows the importance of OPEC+ role in managing the oil market. (As showen in the table below)
He added that Saudi Arabia is working together with countries like Kuwait to return to old oil output capacities.
The minister stated that power generation using gas and renewables domestically will help free a million barrels of oil per day for export.
He noted that the Kingdom is running out of capacities at all levels which is truly a matter of concern for the whole world. The minister added that more hydrocarbon investments are needed to resolve issues surrounding energy generation.
Iraq’s oil minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar told reporters at the same conference OPEC had discussed the bill at the group’s regular meetings.
“We are in internal discussions about that so for now we have no response,” he said.
Abdul-Jabbar also said his country’s current production capacity of 4.9 million bpd and would reach 5 million by the end of the year.
Iraq, the second largest OPEC producer, aims to raise its capacity to 6 million bpd by 2027, he said.
- Additional reporting by Reuters