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UAE committed to Opec+ and will act collectively with alliance, energy ministry says

The National logo The National 25/11/2021 Jennifer Gnana
Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei says the UAE 'remains fully committed to the Declaration of Cooperation (Opec+) and reiterates that any decisions will be taken collectively'. Victor Besa/The National. © Provided by The National Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei says the UAE 'remains fully committed to the Declaration of Cooperation (Opec+) and reiterates that any decisions will be taken collectively'. Victor Besa/The National.

The UAE has "no prior" stance ahead of an upcoming meeting of Opec+ producers amid measures taken by the US and key oil importers to tame prices.

"The energy ministry confirms that the United Arab Emirates is fully committed to the cooperation agreement with Opec+ and that there is no prior stance on the upcoming meeting," the UAE's energy ministry said in a statement carried by state new agency Wam.

The UAE "remains fully committed to the Declaration of Cooperation (Opec+) and reiterates that any decisions will be taken collectively," the statement said.

Kuwait's oil minister Muhammad Al-Faris also reaffirmed his country's support for the Opec+ agreement, state news agency Kuna reported late on Wednesday. Iraq, Opec's second biggest producer, also backs the group's ongoing plan to raise output by 400,000 barrels per day each month since August, the oil ministry said on Thursday in a statement carried by the state news agency.

On Tuesday, the White House announced the US and oil-importing countries, including India, the UK, Japan, and South Korea, would release a total of 80 million barrels of crude onto the market. The move follows a sharp rise in oil prices in 2021. Oil prices have rallied about 60 per cent since the start of the year and have been hovering above $80 a barrel.

Brent rose 3.5 per cent following the announcement of the strategic petroleum reserves’ release, while West Texas Intermediate, which tracks US crude grades, jumped 2.65 per cent.

On Thursday, Brent remained flat at $82.25 per barrel at 11.17am UAE time. WTI was down 0.18 per cent at $78.25 per barrel.

Market observers are waiting to see how Opec+, the supergroup of producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, will respond to the unprecedented release from the US and its key crude importers.

The group is meeting on December 2 to evaluate the last increment of their plan to return 2 million barrels per day of supply to the markets by the end of the year, reversing historic cuts to offset low demand during the pandemic.

The move by the US, which saw inflation hit a three-decade high in October, will bring 50 million barrels from its strategic reserves – stocks of crude maintained to meet emergency needs – to the market.

India, the third-largest crude importer globally, has been at the forefront of lobbying to bring oil prices down. It is making a smaller commitment and releasing 5 million barrels. Japan will also bring 5 million barrels to the market, while South Korea will add 3.5 million barrels.

China has yet to announce a number, but the world's biggest importer of crude is likely to release between 7 million and 15 million barrels. The UK, which is also backing the US initiative, will add a nominal amount of 1.5 million barrels.

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