OPEC president refutes Trump: Unfair to say we aren't doing our part
OPEC’s president says Canada can lure more business to the oil patch if it does a better job of promoting its technological advancements.
United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy and OPEC President Suhail Al Mazrouei was in Calgary to participate in a symposium to promote trade and investment with Canada. He said he was surprised by the amount he did not know about the country’s initiatives.
“Canada is known for its natural resources but some of the high tech companies that [exist] in Alberta, I didn’t know about, and I think that the plans that the government is putting [together] are good plans, but it needs international promotion,” Al Mazrouei told BNN Bloomberg’s Tara Weber. “They need to spend more time and more effort in promoting the businesses in Canada.”
Mazrouei also said that NOVA Chemicals, for which he serves as Chairman of the Board, has upped its investment in Canada and has not been deterred by the regulatory delays that many in the energy industry have claimed will hinder foreign money from flowing into the oil patch.
“We look at the long-term relationship with the country, and we try to benefit the economy, but at the same time, make a decent return,” he said.
“We’ve been watching and we’ve been investing in Canada for the past 10 years and we have gradually increased our investments. We wouldn’t do so if the government was not introducing incentives and incentivizing us to grow our investments.”
That said, Al Mazrouei said he has no interest in buying a stake in Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline, preferring to focus on downstream energy businesses.
The OPEC president refuted claims by U.S. President Donald Trump that the organization is not doing enough to keep gas prices down.
On July 4, Trump tweeted:
“It’s unfair to say OPEC is not doing its part,” Mazrouei said in response to Trump's tweet. “OPEC is doing its part and, also, if there is a requirement for further actions, we have a mechanism for additional meetings.”
“But there are things outside our hands: Geopolitics, as well as how much production is coming from shale oil and the Canadian [oil] sands. This is information that we don’t have and we don’t know. We can not predict it.”
Mazrouei added that controlling OPEC production is a slippery slope and if the organization is not careful, over- or under-production can upset global markets.
“If there is an under-production, OPEC will step in and it will try its best, with all of the capacity it has, to balance the market, but we don’t want to overdo it,” he said.
“If we overdo it, then we are creating a bigger problem: A problem similar to the one that we faced in 2014 when there was too much oil in the market.”