Leader of the oil cartel warns of persistently high prices

As energy demand increases, the price of oil will remain elevated, according to the secretary general of Opec+.

Opec+ is a group of 23 oil-exporting nations that determines the amount of crude oil to be sold on the global market.

"We anticipate a demand increase of approximately 2.4 million barrels per day," Haitham Al Ghais told sources.

Saudi Arabia stated that it would reduce crude oil production by one million barrels per day to increase prices.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia, two key oil producers and members of Opec+, to reduce production could result in a "significant supply shortfall" by the end of the year.

Mr. Al Ghais stated that this decision was made voluntarily by two sovereign nations, Saudi Arabia and Russia and due to uncertainties, this decision can be described as precautionary or preventive.

As a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, oil prices skyrocketed, reaching over $120 per barrel in June of the previous year.

In May of this year, prices fell to just above $70 per barrel, but have risen consistently since then as producers have restricted output to support the market.

Brent crude, a price benchmark, surpassed $95 per barrel on Tuesday amid forecasts of tighter supplies and concerns that the price may surpass $100 per barrel.

The increase prompted a warning to motorists that fuel prices could increase within the next ten months and stoked concerns that inflation in key economies could persist for an extended period of time.

Mr. Al Ghais, however, stated that Opec was more concerned about "underinvestment" in the energy industry. "There have been calls from some quarters to halt investing in oil. In our opinion, this presents the same level of risk. It is going to lead to instability in the future as well as possible supply shortages. And for this reason, we at Opec have always pushed for the significance of continuing to invest in the oil business even as we simultaneously invest in decarbonizing the industry and moving on to adding other types of alternative energy such as renewables."

Mr. Al Ghais said that it was important not to look at things in a short-sighted manner.

When he was asked if he was concerned about rising oil prices causing inflation around the world if it gets above $100 a barrel.

He stated, "For the coming year, we anticipate that demand will continue to increase at a rate that is greater than 2 million barrels per day. This, of course, is all subject to some of the uncertainties that are present in the international market. Despite this, we continue to maintain a high level of optimism that the global demand for oil would remain relatively stable throughout this year."

According to Mr. Al Ghais, the oil industry would require close to $14 trillion in investments between now and the year 2045.

According to him, energy demand will increase by nearly 25 percent between now and 2045, and all forms of energy will be required.

His remarks came the day before a gathering of influential oil industry figures, which will take place in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday as part of the International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC).