Saudi Arabia leads OPEC decision to drop IEA data as US ties fray

OPEC has chosen to stop using oil data from the IEA, which is considered the West’s energy watchdog. This has raised concerns about the strained relationship between Saudi Arabia and Washington and how it may be impacting reactions to the Ukraine-Russia crisis. U.S. President Biden is facing pressure to lower gasoline prices and address inflation ahead of mid-term elections in November, however the lack of relations with Saudi Arabia has proven to make the situation even more delicate. Saudi Arabia and its allies are likely unwilling to assist the United States due to the lack of American addressal of Gulf concerns about Iran at nuclear talks in Vienna, the lack of support for offensive operations by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and imposed conditions on U.S. weapons sales to Gulf states. OPEC’s dropping of the IEA data reflects this frustration of bias from the IEA towards the United States, and other factors straining U.S.-Gulf relations. 

OPEC cuts 2022 world oil demand forecast due to Ukraine war

In a monthly report, OPEC said world demand would rise by 3.67 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022, down 480,000 bpd from its previous forecast. According to the report, “the strong rise in commodity prices in combination with ongoing supply-chain bottlenecks and COVID-19-related logistical logjams in China and elsewhere are all fuelling global inflation.” OPEC said inflation was the major factor impacting the world economy and lowered this year’s economic growth forecast to 3.9% from 4.2% and said there was a chance of a further cut.

OPEC tells EU not possible to replace potential Russian oil supply loss

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo told the European Union on Monday that current and future sanctions on Russia could create one of the worst ever oil supply shocks and it would be impossible to replace those volumes.

Iraq’s March oil output falls as gap with its OPEC+ quota widens

Iraq pumped 4.15 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in March, 222,000 bpd short of its production quota under an agreement with other OPEC+ producers. Iraq’s March output fell by 112,000 bpd from February, largely due to field outages in the south, data from SOMO showed. Upgrade work on Iraq’s Gulf ports, which lasted for most of 2021 and is scheduled to be finished in the current quarter, has also prevented Iraq from pumping larger volumes. 

OPEC output rise in March falls short of pledged increase – survey

OPEC pumped 28.54 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, a Reuters survey found, up 90,000 bpd from February but short of the 253,000 bpd increase called for under its deal with allies including Russia. OPEC+ met on March 31 and confirmed previously agreed plans of a 400,000 bpd increase in March from all OPEC+ members, of which about 253,000 bpd is shared by the 10 OPEC producers the agreement covers. Outages in Libya and Nigeria also limited the increase in OPEC’s output. 

OPEC holds special meeting to ditch IEA data – source

OPEC held an unusually brief meeting to ditch the International Energy Agency (IEA) from its list of trusted data contributors. Earlier this week, OPEC experts recommended ditching the IEA and choosing consultancies Rystad and Wood Mackenzie instead, in yet another sign of a hardening standoff with the West.

Saudi energy minister says oil alliance OPEC+ will leave politics out of output decisions

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, declared that OPEC+ would keep politics out of decision-making in favor of the “common good” of stabilizing energy prices. The minister said the organization’s very existence is dependent on separating its mission to stabilize oil prices from other geopolitical factors. UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei added that the organization had continued to operate while constituent members were at war, without taking a side. “Our aim is to calm the market, trying to come up with volumes as much as possible, and if we are asking anyone to leave, then we are raising the prices,” he said.

OPEC+ supply gap widens further as February compliance jumps

OPEC+ compliance with oil production cuts rose to 136% in February from 129% in January, two sources said, missing its target by over 1 million barrels per day (bpd), as an already tight oil market braces for major Russian disruption. The International Energy Agency said this week the oil market was set for a 700,000 bpd supply deficit in the second quarter as Western sanctions on Moscow and buyer reluctance could lead Russian oil supplies to drop by 3 million bpd in April.

UAE committed to OPEC+ pact, no plan to up own output -WAM

Until now, OPEC+ has resisted calls from the United States and others to increase output, even as oil prices surge to more than $120 a barrel. The United Arab Emirates is committed to the OPEC+ agreement on monthly oil production and has not agreed to individually increase production outside that framework, UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei told state news agency WAM.

UAE committed to OPEC+ agreement and existing mechanism -UAE energy minister

The United Arab Emirates is committed to the OPEC+ agreement and its existing monthly production adjustment mechanism, the UAE energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei tweeted. “The UAE believes in the value OPEC+ brings to the oil market”. His comments came after UAE’s ambassador to Washington said his country favors an oil production increase and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher output.

OPEC+ partners to decide whether to pump more oil

The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that the UAE and Russian foreign ministers would meet today in Moscow to discuss “further expanding multifaceted Russia-UAE relations.” Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia has not reacted to the invasion, like the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman. Kuwait and Qatar have only denounced the violence, stopping short of criticizing Moscow. Gulf countries “understand that they need to diversify their alliances to compensate for the perceived withdrawal of the United States from the region,” Gadel told AFP.

OPEC+ seen sticking to plan despite price shock from Ukraine crisis

OPEC+ will probably stick to its plan of only gradually increasing oil production when it meets this week, according to several delegates, even after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices surging. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is saying it’s committed to the OPEC+ agreement. The kingdom and neighboring UAE are among the few OPEC members with significant spare output capacity. 

Subscribe to Receive Latest Updates from GIF.