As major importers put pressure on OPEC to assist lower petroleum prices, Japan has asked the United Arab Emirates to increase oil shipments.
The Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement that foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi "would want the UAE to assist to the stabilisation of the global crude oil market by further delivering crude oil and securing production capacity." It was released after the minister met with Sultan Al Jaber, the chairman of the United Arab Emirates' state-owned energy company, ADNOC, in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
According to the statement, Jaber "indicated a great desire to support Japan, including through the stabilisation of the global crude oil market." The government of the United Arab Emirates has yet to comment on the meeting.
What's Happened So Far?
Following a jump in crude prices beyond $100 a barrel, the United States and Europe have urged members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to increase crude supply more quickly. They've risen as a result of increased demand following the coronavirus outbreak and, more recently, Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
OPEC has thus far resisted such demands, stating in public that the rise in prices is due to geopolitical tensions rather than a supply-demand imbalance. OPEC+ is a collaboration between the group and other producers, including Russia. Both the Saudis and the Emiratis have stated their commitment to the alliance.
On Wednesday, UK's Prime Minister Johnson paid a visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but he couldn't guarantee that he had persuaded their leaders to change their minds about oil output.
Germany's economy minister Habeck is scheduled to visit Abu Dhabi later today for meetings with Jaber and UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.
After substantial cuts at the onset of the epidemic in 2020, OPEC+ is restoring supplies. Traders and analysts, however, believe that the monthly gains of 400,000 barrels per day are insufficient to drop prices. Furthermore, it is having difficulty fulfilling those promises in full as members deal with manufacturing issues.