Iraq's oil minister says high oil prices could accelerate shift to electric vehicles

HOUSTON — Even with boycotts disrupting supplies from Russia, major oil-producing nations are likely to keep the production line going f...


HOUSTON — Even with boycotts disrupting supplies from Russia, major oil-producing nations are likely to keep the production line going for now, keeping prices high and reaping the benefits. But this course could prove detrimental in the long run.

This is the opinion of Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, Iraqi Minister of Petroleum, member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. He says OPEC Plus – a group of 23 nations including Russia, 3rd world producer – will stick to plans to increase production by a modest 400,000 barrels per day next month.

But in an interview on Wednesday, he said Iraq and other Middle Eastern producers fear high prices will accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, reducing dependence on oil.

“We are happy in the short term, but not happy if it lasts,” said Mr. Abdul Jabbar, who was in Houston to attend CERAWeek, an energy conference.

Even the current OPEC price could change by May if oil prices continue to rise due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said. “OPEC will stay with the program,” he said. “If there are real sanctions against Russian oil, OPEC will make the right decision – if there are real shortages.”

He said neither U.S. officials nor anyone else could force OPEC’s hand, however, and that its decisions would be based on the advice of its analysts. “No one can convince,” he said. “OPEC listens to research reports.”

Mr Abdul-Jabbar said there had been little energy investment in the Persian Gulf region over the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic and weak global demand and that it would take time. to dramatically increase production. He estimated that Iraq, one of the world’s biggest producers, could handle an increase of just 40,000 barrels a day, a drop in a global market that consumes 100 million barrels a day.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Iraq's oil minister says high oil prices could accelerate shift to electric vehicles
Iraq's oil minister says high oil prices could accelerate shift to electric vehicles
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