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UAE: US NOPEC bill could raise oil prices 300%

UAE's Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al-Mazrouei on 14 January 2020 [KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images]
UAE's Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al-Mazrouei on 14 January 2020 [KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images]

The UAE Energy Minister, Suhail Al-Mazrouei, has criticised the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels draft bill known as NOPEC, currently being discussed by the US Congress, saying it could spike fuel prices by 200-300 per cent.

Speaking at a panel at the World Utilities Congress in Abu Dhabi, Al-Mazrouei said the bill unfairly places blame on OPEC for the global energy crisis, warning that the bill's passage could disrupt the industry's long-standing system of production and increase prices.

"If you hinder that system, you need to watch what you're asking for, because having a chaotic market you would see… a 200 per cent or 300 per cent increase in the prices that the world cannot handle," Al-Mazrouei said.

The Emirati minister pointed out that "the extreme volatility" of fuel prices "is not because of supply and demand, it's because some don't want to buy certain crudes and it takes time for traders to move from one market to another" referring to efforts to boycott Russian oil.

READ: World energy capacity in all sectors is dwindling, warns Saudi Oil Minister

"The idea of trying to boycott certain crude is going to be risky regardless of the motives behind that," he added.

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the NOPEC bill, with a 17-4 majority.

The bill needs to be passed by the Senate and the entire House of Representatives, before President Joe Biden can sign it into law.

The draft law was put forward in 2007 and aims to revoke the sovereign immunity that has long protected OPEC and its national oil companies from lawsuits.

The United States recently called on oil-exporting countries, especially Saudi Arabia, to increase oil production to reduce prices and restabilise markets but Riyadh has rejected.

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