CAIRO (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.
A U.S. 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.
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 organization focused on assisting the oil markets to remain in balance on a sustainable basis, which is a fundamental requirement of investors,” Barkindo said.
“The international oil industry needs market stability to plan and invest in a predictable manner in order to guarantee future supplies.”
Reporting by Nadine Awadalla and Alex Lawler in London; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans