OPEC meets with US shale executives as oil prices skyrocket

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Officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Monday met with US shale oil company executives at the CERAWeek conference in Houston as energy prices have soared over supply concerns.

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EQT Corp Chief Executive Officer Toby Rice, Hess Corp CEO John Hess and Chesapeake Energy CEO Domenic Dell’Osso, among others, attended a dinner with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo held at The Grove restaurant adjacent to the CERAWeek conference site, according to a Reuters witness.

It is at least the fourth time since 2017 that US shale oil producers and OPEC officials have held such dinners to discuss energy concerns.

Oil rose to a 14-year high of $139 a barrel on Monday amid concerns about supplies as the United States and European governments weighed banning imports from Russia, the world’s second-largest oil exporter. Earlier, Barkindo said at CERAWeek that OPEC production could not offset a ban on Russian oil.

“We have more that binds us together and so we need to work together to exploit that relationship,” Barkindo said in remarks at the dinner event, billed as the North American Independents Forum.

A spokesperson for Barkindo did not reply to a request for comment.

A Hess spokesperson who accompanied its CEO declined to comment.

“There is no capacity in the world that could replace 7 millions barrels per day,” Barkindo earlier told reporters at the conference. “We have no control over current events, geopolitics, and this is dictating the pace of the market.”

Russia has been an integral part of the OPEC+ alliance that halted a COVID-19 pandemic-driven crash in oil prices through a 2020 agreement to cut 10 million barrels per day (bpd) from the group’s production.

As demand recovered, the alliance has begun returning 400,000 bpd per month to its output. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a new oil shock. Some oil buyers have rejected Russian cargoes and producers with operations in the country, including BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil, have withdrawn from Russia.

Monday’s dinner reprises meetings at the annual energy conference that began in 2017 following a two-year price war that left both sides hurting. Meetings initially were intended to help OPEC understand shale economics and financing but have expanded the topics, officials have said.

Read more:

OPEC+ likely to agree another modest supply boost amid turmoil

Arab oil producers say OPEC+ should stick to current output agreement

IEA chief Birol again urges OPEC+ to narrow gap between oil targets and output

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