The French president told his US counterpart the UAE leader had claimed his country was already pumping “to the max”
The oil-rich countries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot radically increase crude oil production anytime soon, French President Emmanuel Macron told his American counterpart Joe Biden on Monday.
The leaders considered how to curb Russia’s oil revenues without triggering more energy price hikes.
The brief conversation between Macron and Biden was filmed by reporters on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in southern Germany.
Macron told his US counterpart that he had a meeting with the leader of the Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “He told me two things. ‘I’m at a maximum’ [production capacity]† This is what he claims’ said Macron.
The French president continued: “And then he said… [the] Saudis can with 150 . increase [thousands barrels per day]† Maybe a little more, but they will only have enormous capacities in six months.”
Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazroui clarified on Twitter that: “the UAE produces almost our maximum production capacity based on the current OPEC+ production base” of 3,168 million barrels per day. He said the Gulf state would stay “dedicated” remain on the same baseline until the end of the year.
Western countries have looked for ways to curb Russia’s oil trade revenues, while at the same time trying to avoid further hikes in energy prices domestically. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were seen as having spare capacity to boost oil production in order to lower prices, according to Reuters.
The G7, made up of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, agreed on Tuesday to examine whether a price cap could be imposed on Russian oil imports. “We invite all like-minded countries to contribute ideas about our actions”, the group’s leaders said in a joint statement.
Many countries, including EU and NATO members, have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia after Moscow launched its military campaign in Ukraine in late February.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols brokered by Germany and France were designed to give the breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself as a neutral country that will never join NATO’s US-led military bloc. Kiev maintains that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and denies that it intended to retake the two republics by force.