• OPEC secretary general warns IEA against disrupting oil industry investment

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The Secretary General of OPEC, Haitham Al Ghais, has warned the International Energy Agency against discouraging investment in the oil industry, saying that it could lead to oil market volatility in the future.

Mr Al Ghais’ comments come in the wake of some back-and-forth between IEA chief Fatih Birol and OPEC+ representatives, with Mr Birol having said in an interview that OPEC should be careful about pushing oil prices up through production cuts, as a weaker global economy could result. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman had in February said that progressive production cuts (to a total 2 million barrels per day) would continue to the end of this year, and that the IEA was responsible for rising oil prices in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, because of “the screaming and scaring that they had done on how much Russia will lose in terms of its production.”

OPEC+ also said last year it would discontinue use of IEA data in analysing the oil market. Mr Al Ghais’ most recent comments were that “If anything will lead to future volatility it is the IEA’s repeated calls to stop investing in oil, knowing that all data-driven outlooks envisage the need for more of this precious commodity to fuel global economic growth and prosperity in the decades to come, especially in the developing world.”