Owji: West Should Adopt a Rational Approach to World Energy Security

TEHRAN (Shana) – Sustainable and constant cooperation in OPEC+ coalition could help consumers remarkably in the current conditions, Iranian Petroleum Minister said on Wednesday, expressing hope that major western governments understand the sensitivities properly and adopt a rational approach to achieve world energy security.

Javad Owji made the remark on the sidelines of the 31st OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting held via video conference on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, adding, “This winter is very important for Europeans and the world and they should think about it now.”

The meeting was held in a situation that the output cuts by OPEC+ member states will come to an end by the end of August 2022 as it was decided months ago within July 2021 agreement, he said.

OPEC+ decided to gradually raise oil supply to the market on a monthly basis and the oil output by its members has returned to the levels before the start of the agreement in July 2021, he said, adding: “However, it was agreed to extend OPEC+ agreement until the end of 2022 and the producers seriously want to continue cooperation in order to support stability in oil market and safeguard the achievements of the agreement.”

During the meeting, all member countries highlighted constant cooperation among OPEC and non-OPEC countries in maintaining and improving stability in oil market, he added, stating: “The Islamic Republic of Iran also emphasizes and supports continuous cooperation among OPEC and non-OPEC producers at the highest levels.”

As some OPEC+ producers pumped less oil and did not deliver on an oil output increase pledged under the deal and due to a decline in commercial crude and oil byproducts inventories in some major consumer countries, members agreed at the 31st Ministerial Meeting to raise their total production by 100,000 bpd for September, he said.

Also OPEC+ will continue to monitor market developments with holding monthly technical and ministerial meetings and take any necessary measures to maintain stability in oil market, the minister added.

Latest statistics and reports showed that OPEC+ members’ compliance reached 320 percent in June 2022, mainly caused by a drop in some members’ oil production, he highlighted, saying: “Global oil market is moving towards balance and stability despite concerns over the consequences of geopolitical tensions on world economic growth and possible damages to demand.”

“At today’s meeting, it was reemphasized that OPEC+ member states are closely monitoring global oil market and the supply-demand balance and they are prepared to make swift decisions and take necessary measures according to the oil market conditions,” he noted.

OPEC+ has the highest level of cooperation and I think almost all members share the same opinion about the outcomes of this cooperation for market stability, Owji stressed, saying: “The sustainable and constant cooperation in OPEC+ can greatly help world consumers in the current critical condition.”

“I hope major western governments also understand the sensitivities appropriately and take a rational approach to ensure world energy security. This winter is very important for Europeans and the whole world so they should think about it now,” he said.

As I have repeatedly stated, depoliticizing energy security should be considered as a global necessity, he said, adding: “Global oil market is in a condition that return of Iran oil can supply a part of customers’ demand and help to balance and calm international markets.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stressed that jeopardizing energy security and heightening market turmoil have lose-lose outcomes for all players,” he said, adding Iran, holder of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, is ready to increase its crude oil output to pre-sanctions levels as soon as possible.

“Global energy market needs an increase in Iran oil and natural gas supply. However, using the capacities requires a political will and decisions from consumer countries,” he emphasized.

News Code 460308

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