Qatari Energy Minister: Oil Market Is Balanced; Defends OPEC Amidst Crude Price Hike Accusations

Qatar's Minister of Energy Mohammed al-Sada
Qatar's Minister of Energy Mohammed al-Sada speaks during a session of the Russian Energy Week international forum in Moscow, Russia October 3, 2018 (Photo: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

Amidst speculations, a Qatari energy minister said on Sunday that the global oil market remains balanced when it comes to the supply and demand of the energy source, further nothing that the price increase is entirely due to the uncontrollable geopolitical changes.

Quoting the statement from Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada, a state-owned Qatar news agency cited factors like geopolitical changes as one of the main driving forces on the recent rise in oil prices.

At a press conference hosted by the Qatari ministry during the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Qatar University, al-Sada said that if anything, the oil market is just but a direct reflection of what's going on around the world, the developments that have been taking place, the Gulf Times report said.

These so-called developments, according to the minister, may include the constant changes on the global demand of the black gold globally, as well as the apparent geopolitical changes.

As further mentioned in the Reuters report, al-Sada said that these variables of changes will be tackled more at the upcoming summit of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Meanwhile, the Qatari official added that it's not only the members of the 15-member cartel but also it's non-member allies who closely participated in an agreement to lower down on production targets. These entities were also closely on the lookout on these geopolitical changes, reiterating its effects in the supply and demand of oil around the world.

He said that the effectiveness of this agreement is solely dependent on how the changes in the oil market continue to play out, although he stressed on the fact that these involved parties are certainly committed on its promise to maintain balance in the market.

In Defense of OPEC

The ministry is no stranger to the criticisms thrown at the organization. The US President Donald Trump, for example, has been vocal on his accusations saying that the OPEC and even the non-OPEC producers are rigging the market to their own advantage.

On Wednesday of last week, al-Sada told CNBC in an interview that OPEC and its allies have done nothing but to manipulate the prices of oil in the world market.

As he explained, OPEC and its cohorts would only restrict its production level for the purpose of shaving the stock surplus which is now at a record high. This excess, according to him, can severely affect the price which won't sell well on global economic growth.

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