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OPEC not in the business of fixing oil prices, says Mohammad Barkindo

Reuters/Cairo 11 Feb 19 | 07:17 PM

OPEC. Photo: Reuters

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said the exporting group was not in the business of fixing oil prices when asked on Monday to comment on a U.S. House committee passing a bill targeting OPEC oil supply cuts.

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A US House of Representatives committee approved a bill on Thursday that would open up the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to antitrust lawsuits, but it was uncertain if the measure would be considered by the full chamber.

"OPEC is neither a cartel nor involved in the business of fixing oil prices," Barkindo told Reuters. "It would be a misjudgment to accuse us of such," he said on the sidelines of an energy forum in Cairo.

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OPEC and a group of non-OPEC countries including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, are reducing oil output in 2019 to avoid a potential supply glut that could weigh on prices. A similar action in 2017 got rid of an earlier supply glut.

"OPEC is an open, transparent organisation focused on assisting the oil markets to remain in balance on a sustainable basis, which is a fundamental requirement of investors," Barkindo said.

ALSO READ: Opec strategy still a winner for members despite oil price slide

"The international oil industry needs market stability to plan and invest in a predictable manner in order to guarantee future supplies."

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