IEA head urges OPEC+ laggards to boost output to balance markets

Source: Jeremy Seeman

OPEC+ members producing below their crude output quotas need to pump more to balance oil markets, said International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol.

Oil has rallied to a seven-year high above $90 a barrel as demand rebounds and global supply lags behind. While the 23-nation OPEC+ alliance agreed to raise output targets again at its last meeting, the group is struggling to fulfill its pledges. Producers from Nigeria and Libya to Iran are falling short of their targets. 

Increasing production from the U.S., Canada and Brazil hasn’t been enough to ease high energy prices, Birol said at a conference in Cairo.

Tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine are also putting upward pressure on crude prices. The U.S. has said Russia could soon invade Ukraine, while Moscow has repeatedly denied such an intention.

Europe’s natural gas crunch and surging prices are due to “an artificial tightness in the market,” said Birol. “The politicization of the gas sector is not in favor of anyone, producers or consumers,” he said. 

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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