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Wed 9 Jan 2019 12:14 PM

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China trade war, US shale among 2019 concerns for UAE energy minister

Suhail Al Mazrouei said OPEC listens to the US market, not President Trump, when it comes to oil supply

China trade war, US shale among 2019 concerns for UAE energy minister
UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said the ongoing US-China trade war and shale production in the US were amongst the biggest geopolitical headwinds for 2019,

Speaking at the UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, Al Mazrouei said, "I think this (US-China trade war) is one fundamental, not only affecting us but affecting the whole economics of the world.”

He remained optimistic that it would not escalate even further. 

“It's negotiation tactics, they will end on a resolution, whatever it takes, this year or next year," he said, in an interview with CNBC.

He said the ramping up of shale production in the US is a concern for the oil market and OPEC’s efforts to maintain balance.

“How much is coming from the shale oil production - I think that's another factor we need to watch and we need to advise that it has to be reasonable," he said.

Responding to President Trump’s criticisms of OPEC and the price of oil, often through his Twitter account, he said it was important to the listen to the consumers, and achieving a balance when it comes to supply and demand.

"They (US) are major consumers versus the major producing nations. We hear what they say but we will always do the right thing from our perspective which is always trying to maintain the balance [in supply and demand].

"We are not in the business of trusting or not trusting presidents. We are in the business of watching the market and correcting it every time the geopolitics have as a factor, affecting the market," he added.

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