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Ministers are afraid to go back to $100


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A worker in an oil field developed by Almetyevneft, the Oil and Gas Production Council (NGDU) in Tatneft.

Igor Aliyev | TASS | Getty Images

The Energy Ministers representing Egypt and Cyprus on Monday expressed their deep concern about the possibility of oil prices rising above $100 per barrel.

This comes at a time when more than a dozen countries have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine Amid warnings of an imminent Russian invasion.

international standard Brent Crude oil futures rose to a new seven-year high on Monday morning due to escalating geopolitical tensions. The contract last traded at $94.33, down 0.1% for the session after previously reaching a high of $96.16.

West Texas Intermediate Meanwhile, futures were at $93.20, up nearly 0.1%.

The United States and Europe have threatened sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine, raising fears of possible supply disruptions from one of the world’s largest producers. Russia has repeatedly denied that it is planning to invade the Ukraine conflict, which has amassed some 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border.

Speaking at an oil and gas exhibition conference in Cairo, Egypt, the energy and petroleum ministers representing Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and the United Arab Emirates were asked if they expect oil prices to rise to a three-digit region.

“For me, I can see that happening, but I don’t want that to happen,” Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at EGYPS 2022.

“It’s definitely on the way,” he added.

Cypriot Energy Minister Natasha Peledz agreed that it is a “very scary concept” to imagine oil prices exceeding $100 a barrel. “It’s really tangible,” she added.

“It’s very difficult to deal with because on the one hand, we’ve had a special tendency in the last few months to basically give support and that’s not the norm, so we’re in this difficult situation where it’s very difficult when you start to do that,” Peledas said.

“We definitely need to stick to our goals in terms of the energy transition, but I would also like to add that natural gas has a place in this path as a bridge fuel.”

Speaking at the same session, Israeli Energy Minister Karen El Harar said, “It’s a very difficult question, but I think if we don’t want to attend, [$100 oil] Then we have to make sure we have a variety of energy sources.”

The International Energy Agency has previously recognized Natural gas as the “cleanest and fastest growing fossil fuel,” but he cautioned that its long-term use in the transition to zero-zero energy systems is uncertain.

The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, is certainly the main driver of the climate emergency.

Does OPEC have a plan if Russia invades?

“You know me, I won’t answer the question,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told CNBC when asked if oil prices could cross $100 a barrel.

“I think what’s happening to the market is geopolitical tension and that’s the main driver of prices. It’s very difficult to predict when it comes to geopolitics,” he added, referring to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, the group known as OPEC+, have struggled to increase production in recent months, Despite pledging to gradually phase out record cuts in supplies. The UAE is a member of OPEC.

When asked if OPEC+ has a plan in case Russia invades Ukraine, Al Mazrouei replied: “I don’t think we need to escalate any more than what is being said. What we hear is that there is no intention of an invasion and that, I think, relieves you.”

“I would be in that camp that doesn’t see that happening,” he said, adding that he hoped diplomacy between Russia and Europe would prevail.

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