Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammad Barkindo, says the group is not in the business of fixing oil prices.
He was responding to a bill passed by a committee of the United States House of Representatives last Thursday, according to Reuters.
The committee approved an anti-cartel legislation, known as the ‘No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act’, or NOPEC, that would open up the members of OPEC to antitrust lawsuits.
“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 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.
“The international oil industry needs market stability to plan and invest in a predictable manner in order to guarantee future supplies,” he added.
OPEC and a group of non-OPEC countries including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC and its allies, 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.