The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, should leave the politics aside to be able to deal with different countries at different times, Saudi energy minister said on Tuesday, ruling out removing Russia from the group.
'When we get into the building for our meetings, we leave politics outside of the door and that culture has been with us. If we don’t do that, we will not have dealt with so many countries at different times,' Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Salman said OPEC+ is not a platform 'for the moral, ethical and political issues; when it comes to OPEC, we have managed to compartmentalize our political differences for the last 35 years.'
Stressing that OPEC+ is responsible to ensure energy security, Salman said Gulf countries have fulfilled 'what is expected of them in this regard, but others must fulfill their commitments.'
He said without OPEC+, a sustainable energy market, despite the current volatility, would not be possible.
Noting that the region faces many risks, Selman said that Russia produces about 10 million barrels of oil a day and said this amount corresponds to about 10% of global consumption and is a big contribution.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei reiterated that OPEC+ group has never brought politics on the table and only focused on stabilizing the market.
'Countries have the right to select from the resources they buy, but we cannot decide for all and say you cannot buy these barrels – that is outside the OPEC,' said Al Mazrouei, responding to the unfolding pressure to remove Russia from the group.
Major oil producers of the OPEC+ group, of which Russia is a member, is scheduled to convene on Thursday.
Except for slight output increases from baseline rises of the UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Russia starting from May, the group is expected to keep its 400,000 bpd production scheme unchanged.
Experts say between 1.2 and 1.5 million bpd of Russian crude exports have been lost since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, while around 3 million bpd is expected to be rerouted from Europe to Asia.
By Sibel Morrow