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UAE calls for consistent approach to oil producers

Speaking at an industry event, Suhail al-Mazrouei, the Energy Minister for the UAE, has called for the world to take a more even-handed attitude to oil-producing countries, rather than vilifying them in normal times but venerating them during supply crunches.

Talking about the recent COP 26 conference, Mazrouei said many oil producers felt unwelcome there, yet now he says they are being treated like “superheroes”. He added that it was not going to work to promote renewables at the expense of underinvesting in oil and gas development, but still demand output increases when supply is tight. He said long-term planning was necessary for both renewables and hydrocarbons, pointing out that the OPEC+ group needed to replace 5–8 million barrels of lost production every year.

Nevertheless, Mazrouei said his country was working to raise capacity, but insisted it would continue to operate under the OPEC+ agreement:

“We as a country are trying to do our best. We are investing and raising our capacity to 5 million barrels. But that does not mean that we will leave OPEC+ or do something unilateral. We will work with this group to ensure that the market is stable.”

Hydrocarbon-rich countries generally argue for a more gradual transition from fossil fuels. This view is reflected by oil and gas producers like BP and TotalEnergies, which also make the Castrol and Total lubricant products. These companies share the goal of becoming net-zero businesses by 2050 but will continue to produce hydrocarbons in the medium term to meet demand.

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