The role of the US in the oil market is still important under Biden: Minister of the United Arab Emirates

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The US will always play a major role in global energy markets, even if President-elect Joe Biden is likely to be less vocal than President Donald Trump on oil, the UAE Energy Secretary told CNBC ahead of inauguration day.

“The United States of America is a major player now … with its production, with the fact that this industry, developed by shale oil and gas, has created many jobs and an economy of its own,” said Suhail al -Mazrouei.

That won’t change under a new US president who is expected to focus more on renewable energy and less on oil, he said.

Whether President Biden and the new government [will] Be vocal on Twitter or not … the role of the United States will always matter.

Suhail al-Mazrouei

UAE Minister of Energy

President Trump posted about crude oil on Twitter and even communicated with OPEC leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia during the oil price war last year. Biden is likely to take a different approach, but al-Mazrouei said US leadership in energy markets is likely to remain.

“Whether President Biden and the new government [will] Be vocal on Twitter or not … the role of the United States will always matter, “he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during the Atlantic Council’s virtual Global Energy Forum on Tuesday.

Timeline for the recovery of the oil market

The South Belridge Oil Field is the fourth largest oil field in California and one of the most productive in the United States

David McNew | Getty Images

Al-Mazrouei said there are still many barrels of oil in storage and the market is not yet balanced.

“We continue to draw on inventory until we reach reasonable levels and hopefully this will happen by … the timeframe we set out, April 2022,” he said.

“I am optimistic that we would achieve it before then [that]”, he added.” But let’s say, even if it takes us … by that date, then I think we’ll balance that. “

Oil prices have rebounded somewhat on vaccine hopes and production cuts, but are still below pre-Covid levels and are expected to average just over $ 50 per barrel this year.

The International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global oil demand in 2021 this week, pointing out rising Covid-19 cases worldwide and new lockdowns that will further limit mobility.

The international benchmark Brent crude oil rose 0.81% to $ 56.35 in Asia on Wednesday afternoon, while US crude rose 0.96% to $ 53.49.

– CNBC’s Sam Meredith and Natasha Turak contributed to this report.