Opec ready to meet any shortage if needed, says UAE energy minister

Opec ready to meet any shortage if needed, says UAE energy minister
Opec ready to meet any shortage if needed, says UAE energy minister

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Opec will meet any shortage, if needed, should tensions between the US and Iran disrupt the security of supply from the region, according to the UAE energy minister.

"The market is well supplied. We’re not forecasting shortage of supply unless there’s a catastrophic event which we don’t see, so Opec always will meet and discuss whatever necessary actions we need to do," Suhail Al Mazrouei told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

Opec members will not take unilateral action, he added, noting that the alliance, which also includes non-members led by Russia, will "assess the situation" when they convene in March.

Opec+ as the alliance is known, began implementing production cuts of 2.1 million barrels per day since the beginning of January. The group agreed to deepen cuts at their annual meeting in December.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated on Friday after the US assassinated Qassem Suleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force, within Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Suleimani was Iran's top military commander and was among the top policymakers in Tehran, overseeing proxy military conflicts in the region, notably in Iraq and Syria. His death prompted Iran to declare the US armed forces a "terrorist" entities, with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowing "tough revenge".

Mr Al Mazrouei called for de-escalation on both sides.

"What we need is the security of the oil markets. What we can do is supply and demand, the geopolitics is outside our hand. We’re hoping that both sides will de-escalate," he said.

On Wednesday morning, Iran launched missiles targeting American bases in Iraq, with foreign minister Javad Zarif saying on Twitter that the country had taken "proportionate measures in self-defense".

Brent was up 1.35 per cent and trading at $69.19 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was up 1.31 per cent at $63.52 per barrel.

Updated: January 8, 2020 09:35 AM

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