Prince Abdulaziz on OPEC+ alliance: "This time is different"

Prince Abdulaziz on OPEC+ alliance: "This time is different"
Published: 10 September 2019 - 7 a.m.
By: Carla Sertin

As the industry waits for the OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting at the close of the World Energy Congress this week in Abu Dhabi, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman commented on the OPEC+ alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC members, including Russia.

"This time around it is different," he said during his first public interview as Saudi Arabia's energy minister. "Different in quality, different in size, and different in the sense of perpetuality.

"The many attempts that we have done, which were successful, were temporary," he added. "They were meant to attend to specific issues, a specific time when that issue is attended to, and then over time, things go back to where they were before..."

He also said that he would continue consensus-building within OPEC+, noting that larger and smaller producers should have a voice, and that he would respect consensus.

OPEC+, originally formed in 2016, signed an agreement in December 2018 to remove 1.2mn barrels per day of production from the market, primarily shouldered by Saudi Arabia and Russia, as they attempt to push oil prices higher and to balance supply and demand. However, US production and worries over a trade war between the US and China have capped oil price gains.

Ahead of Vladimir Putin's planned trip to Saudi Arabia in October, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is expected to meet with Abdulaziz in Riyadh.

"We are talking about a sustainable, perpetual alliance," Abdulaziz said. "We will discuss so many things, including our bilateral relationship."

Although newly appointed to the position of energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz is an industry veteran who has seen many oil crises during his career. He served as the minister of state for energy affairs before his current position, and was a common sight at OPEC meetings alongside former energy minister Khalid Al-Falih.

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