After two weeks of impasse, the recent OPEC+ agreement has put Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman in the spotlight again for the power he yields on the global oil market.
Abdulaziz bin Salman, like the other oilmen in Saudi Arabia, still believes that it will be the Kingdom that will pump the last barrel of oil, and it will be the Kingdom that will benefit from shrinking investments in oil and gas globally as international oil majors and governments continue to pledge net-zero emissions by 2050.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, one of the most influential – if not the most influential – figures in the oil market, believes that the Saudis will pump every last drop of oil.
“We are still going to be the last man standing, and every molecule of hydrocarbon will come out,” Abdulaziz bin Salman said at a private event, a source familiar with the meeting told Bloomberg News’ Javier Blas.
The energy minister is not the only top official to express the belief that Saudi Arabia will have a future in oil despite the net-zero and peak oil demand narratives.
Before net-zero emissions became the latest fad in oil markets, Amin Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco, said in January 2019 that Saudi Arabia would pump the last barrel of oil.
“There will continue to be growth in oil demand … We are the lowest cost producer and the last barrel will come from the region,” told CNN Business’ Emerging Markets Editor John Defterios on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019.
That was more than a year before the market crash of March and April 2020, when Saudi Arabia briefly broke up the OPEC+ pact with Russia.
During the past two weeks amid the latest disagreement within OPEC+, Abdulaziz bin Salman was key in the negotiations with the UAE, which wanted its baseline production level revised up.
“Consensus building is an art,” Abdulaziz bin Salman said after the deal was announced, declining to say how the consensus was built.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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