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Thu 10 Jan 2019 11:02 AM

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Qatar OPEC withdrawal not a cause for concern, says UAE Energy Minister

UAE Energy Minister and former OPEC President Suhail Al Mazroui said that Qatar does not have enough capacity to risk the oil market

Qatar OPEC withdrawal not a cause for concern, says UAE Energy Minister
UAE Energy Minister and former OPEC President Suhail Al Mazroui.

The UAE and OPEC respect Qatar’s “sovereign decision” to leave the organisation, although they don’t understand the logic behind the move, according to UAE Energy Minister and former OPEC President Suhail Al Mazroui.

“We [have had] more countries joining the organisation in the last two years than leaving,” he said at the UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi. "We don’t understand the logic, but it’s their decision.”

Al Mazroui added that he is unconcerned about the impact Qatar’s departure can have on the market.

“Qatar is a small producer,” he said. “Even when they were given a chance to increase their production, they couldn’t…so I’m not worried about Qatar. Qatar is not a country with a significant capacity of increase that could risk the market.”

Additionally, Al Mazroui added that Qatar’s plans to ramp up liquefied natural gas production in the wake of its leaving OPEC is inextricably linked to the oil market.

“Oil is effecting the gas,” he said. “When oil prices go down, gas prices go down as well.

“It [Qatar leaving] won’t change the fundamentals in any shape or form,” he added. “What is important is that we keep the momentum of investment into oil and gas happening.”

A primary concern, he said, is that companies such as the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Saudi Aramco slow down investments because they are not seeing returns.

“We [also] don’t want those investing in shale oil slowing down, or companies bankrupting because they aren’t seeing that return on investment,” he added.

“We don’t want to see 2015, 2016 again. We all know what happened to shale oil production when they got so excited. They overproduced and flooded the market. One of the risks is that.”

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