Opec not to blame for soaring inflation, secretary general tells CNBC

Oil slips to six-month low as recession fears weigh after a brief rally as concerns about the prospect of a global recession that would weaken demand overshadowed a report showing lower US crude and gasoline stocks



By Reuters

Published: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 3:50 PM

Inadequate investment in the oil and gas sector is the chief reason behind the recent spike in prices and Opec is not to blame, Opec secretary-general Haitham Al Ghais told CNBC on Wednesday.

“There are other factors beyond Opec that are really behind the spike we have seen in gas (and) in oil. And again, I think in a nutshell, for me, it is underinvestment — chronic underinvestment,” he told CNBC. “Opec is not behind this price increase.”

Oil slips to six-month low

Meanwhile, oil hit a six-month low on Wednesday after a brief rally as concerns about the prospect of a global recession that would weaken demand overshadowed a report showing lower US crude and gasoline stocks.

Figures on Wednesday did little to improve the economic backdrop, showing British consumer price inflation jumped to 10.1 per cent in July, its highest since February 1982, intensifying a squeeze on households.

Brent crude fell as low as $91.51, the lowest since February, and by 0931GMT was down 5 cents at $92.29. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 20 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to $86.33.

“The oil market is struggling to shake off recession fears, and there is little to suggest that this will change any time soon,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Earlier, prices gained support from a report showing lower US crude and fuel stocks. Crude stocks fell about 448,000 barrels and gasoline by about 4.5 million barrels, said sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday.

Official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration is out at 1430GMT.

Oil has soared in 2022, coming close to an all-time high of $147 in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated supply concerns. Prices have fallen since as those concerns were edged out by the prospect of recession.

“There are growing downside risks as a result of the growth outlook and ongoing uncertainty around Chinese Covid restrictions,” said Craig Erlam of brokerage OANDA.

An exodus of participants, especially hedge funds and speculators, has made daily price swings far greater than in previous years.

On the oil supply front, the market is awaiting developments from talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which could eventually lead to a boost in Iranian oil exports if a deal is reached.

The European Union and United States said on Tuesday they were studying Iran’s response to what the EU has called its “final” proposal to save the deal. — Reuters


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