OPEC chief says focus is on keeping market well-supplied

Salma El Wardany February 14, 2022

(Bloomberg) — OPEC is focused on keeping the oil market well-supplied, even as the group continues to grapple with underinvestment, according to its top official.  

“There’s no doubt that we are concerned with ensuring that the security of supply is also guaranteed,” OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Cairo. The group and its allies are working to “ensure that we continue to be reliable and dependable to supply oil to global markets.”

Despite steadily reviving halted production, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has struggled to meet its supply targets, largely due to lack of investment. Some, such as Libya, are also struggling with internal unrest. Those shortcomings, combined with geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe, have helped push oil prices higher, Barkindo said. 

Brent crude earlier on Monday rose above $96 a barrel, the highest intraday level since 2014. In a report published last week, OPEC said global fuel use could grow by more than the 4.3% that it’s currently projecting for 2022.

If demand continues to grow at the group’s projections, “the world will continue to be thirsty for oil for the foreseeable future,” Barkindo said.

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