August 16, 2022

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Macron tells Biden that the UAE and Saudi Arabia can hardly increase oil production

Macron tells Biden that the UAE and Saudi Arabia can hardly increase oil production

French President Emmanuel Macron said, today, Monday, that the President of the United Arab Emirates informed him that two of the largest oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE, can hardly increase oil production.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are seen as the only two countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with spare capacity to boost global deliveries that could lower prices.

“I had a call with Mohammed bin Zayed,” Macron was heard telling US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit, using an acronym for UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “He told me two things. I’m at maximum and maximum (production capacity). That’s what he claims.”

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“Then he said that the Saudis could increase 150 (thousand barrels per day), maybe a little more, but six months ago they did not have a huge capacity,” Macron said.

A senior Emirati energy official confirmed Macron’s statement to the state news agency. Read more

“In light of recent media reports, I would like to clarify that the UAE is producing close to its maximum production capacity based on the current OPEC+ production line,” Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei said.

Global oil prices have risen steadily in recent months due to supply shortages and a rebound in demand from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. Prices have risen further since Moscow invaded Ukraine in late February.

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The benchmark crude price rose on Monday after Reuters reported Macron’s comments. Brent oil prices rose 1.7 percent to over $115 a barrel as the West seeks ways to cut Russian oil imports to punish Moscow.

Saudi Arabia produces 10.5 million barrels per day and has a nominal capacity of 12.0 million – 12.5 million barrels per day, which would theoretically allow it to increase production by 2 million barrels.

The UAE produces about three million barrels per day, and its capacity is 3.4 million barrels per day, and it is working to increase it to 4 million barrels per day.

Europe is looking for ways to replace up to two million barrels per day of Russian crude and about two million barrels per day of refined products that it imported from Moscow before the Ukraine war.

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Reporting from Reuters TV. writing by Dmitriy Zhdanikov; Editing by Jean Harvey and Grant McCall

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.