Global RiskNews Briefs

Could Middle East nations come to the rescue as the Ukraine war drives up oil prices?

An announcement by a United Arab Emirates diplomat on Wednesday raised hopes that Gulf oil producers may assist the globe as oil prices climb to an eight-year high due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Yousef Al Otaiba is the UAE ambassador in the US and stated his country favors an oil output hike, the first indication from a member of the OPEC+ group of oil producers that a supply increase may be considered. Prior to this announcement, it was understood that OPEC+ would not increase production beyond a gradual ramp up. 

OPEC+ includes 23 oil countries that coordinate oil policies that determine prices on the market. The sanctions placed on Russia’s energy exports by Western countries could cause Russia’s oil exports to sink to a third of what they were prior to the invasion. The nations of UAE and Saudi Arabia are the only countries in OPEC+ with spare oil production capacity to add to the market, but until Wednesday, March 9 the calls to increase production were rebuffed. There is a meeting of the OPEC+ countries on March 31.

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