Arab News, Sunday, Feb 05, 2023 | Rajab 14, 1444
Saudi energy minister warns sanctions could result in energy shortages
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Energy Minister
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman warned on Saturday Western sanctions against Russia
could result in a shortage of energy supplies in future.
In answer to a question over how trade measures
would affect the energy market, Prince Abdulaziz told an industry conference in
Riyadh: "All of those so-called sanctions, embargoes, lack of investments, they
will convolute into one thing and one thing only, a lack of energy supplies of
all kinds when they are most needed."
The prince also said Saudi Arabia was working to
send liquefied petroleum gas to Ukraine. LPG is most commonly used as a cooking
fuel and in heating.
The EU has imposed a series of sanctions against
Russia, reducing Russian energy exports, and other Western powers have also
imposed measures as they seek to further limit Moscow's ability to fund its war
Asked what lessons had been learnt from energy
market dynamics in 2022, Prince Abdulaziz said the most important one was for
the rest of the world to "trust OPEC+".
"We are a responsible group of countries, we do
take policy issues relevant to energy and oil markets in a total silo and we
don't engage ourselves in political issues," the prince said.
OPEC+, an alliance that includes members of the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and others including Russia,
agreed last year to cut its production target by 2 million barrels per day,
about 2 percent of world demand, from November until the end of 2023 to support
An OPEC+ panel that met last Wednesday endorsed
the decision and the main message throughout the meeting was that the group
would stay the course until the end of the agreement.
Prince Abdulaziz further reiterated that the
Kingdom will remain cautious about raising oil production, even as several
prominent analysts say rising demand will soon trigger a jump in prices,
“I will believe it when I see it and then take
action,” he added.
The minister said OPEC+ had been proved correct
with its decision in October to cut output by 2 million barrels a day.
“If people had trusted us then, we wouldn’t have
undergone the trepidations that happened,” he said, referring to a spike in
prices to almost $100 a barrel after OPEC+ announced its move.