The Secretary-General of OPEC: “Optimistic about the expectations of oil demand in the next year 2023”
The new Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said that it is too early to say what OPEC + will do at the meeting of September 5, 2022, as it may reduce production and perhaps raise it if necessary.
He explained that the organization’s ability to meet the demand for oil will be a difficult task without addressing the issue of lack of investment in the sector. The lack of investment in the oil and gas sectors in the wake of the price drop due to COVID-19 has significantly reduced OPEC spare production capacity and limited the organization’s ability to respond quickly to further potential supply disruptions.
The Secretary-General also noted the lack of investment in the refining sector, adding that OPEC members have increased refining capacity to offset the decline in Europe and the United States.
He stressed that the goal of OPEC is to secure enough oil for the world, but it will entail great challenges and severe difficulties if there is no understanding of the importance of investment, adding that he hopes that “investors, financial institutions and policy makers also take this issue seriously and with high priority in their future plans.
In July 2022, the International Energy Agency reported that investment in oil and gas rose 10% from last year but was still well below 2019 levels, adding that some of the immediate shortfall in Russian exports should be compensated by increased production from elsewhere.
The Secretary-General stressed that the rise in oil and energy prices is not the responsibility of OPEC, but rather because of the decisions of policy makers and legislators and the lack of investments in the oil and gas sectors. He added that the recent decline in oil prices reflects fears of an economic slowdown, but he expressed a relatively optimistic view of the market outlook for 2023 with efforts to combat inflation in the world
Haitham Al-Ghais, who took office on 1/8/2022, added that the demand for oil is strong in the actual market, and that the concern about the slowdown in the Chinese economy is exaggerated, adding that the demand is likely to find support from the use of jet fuel with the increase in travel.
The price of Brent crude had approached an all-time high of $147 a barrel in March 2022 after the Russian war in Ukraine increased the supply concerns. But prices have fallen since then and hit a six-month low of less than $92 in August 2022. Although prices have fallen recently, they are still high and put more burdens on consumers and businesses all over the world