OPEC’s Barkindo Says Venezuelan, Iranian Oil Could Ease Energy Crisis


ABUJA, July 5 (Reuters) – The oil and gas industry is “under siege” due to years of underinvestment, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said on Tuesday, adding that the supply shortage would result could be mitigated if additional supplies from Iran and Venezuela were allowed to flow.

Years of sanctions have limited supplies from Iran and Venezuela.

In addition, the West has imposed sanctions on Russia, a member of OPEC+ which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, following the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow on February 24, further tightening oil markets.

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“We could, however, unlock resources and build our capacity if oil produced by the Islamic Republic of Iran and Venezuela were allowed to return to the market,” Barkindo told an energy conference in the Nigerian capital. .

Pressure on the industry has been increased by efforts by some countries to divest from hydrocarbons, he said.

As they seek to limit global warming, he said demand for oil is rising even as capacity investment dwindles and prices rise.

Barkindo predicts that primary demand for oil worldwide will increase until 2045, while refining capacity in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries fell by 3.3% in 2021.

“Our industry now faces enormous challenges on multiple fronts,” he told conference delegates.

“And these threaten our investment potential now and in the long term. To put it bluntly, my dear friends, the oil and gas industry is under siege,” he said, citing geopolitical developments in Europe, where the war in Ukraine has left many countries vulnerable to soaring energy prices.

“The ongoing war in Ukraine, a COVID-19 pandemic that is still with us, and inflationary pressures across the world have come together in a perfect storm that is causing significant volatility and uncertainty in commodity markets generally. More importantly, in the world of energy,” he said.

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Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Camillus Eboh Writing by James Macharia Chege Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Barbara Lewis

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