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Azerbaijan's status as reliable energy supplier appreciated more now - Robert Cekuta

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 19. Azerbaijan has long benefited from being seen as a reliable supplier of oil and natural gas former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta told TurkicWorld.

"This status as a secure, reliable energy supplier has been an important aspect of the bilateral relationship between the US and Azerbaijan, as well as between Azerbaijan and customers in Europe, and elsewhere in the world," he said.

He pointed out that this status which Azerbaijan has achieved as a reliable energy partner is especially appreciated in light of the ongoing factors resulting from Russian-Ukrainian war, and other factors that continue to affect energy security in Europe, the Far East, and in middle income and developing economy countries.

Regarding cooperation with OPEC and OPEC+, the ambassador noted that another consideration is how that group's actions are viewed in various parts of the world.

"Restrictions on oil production can worsen inflation globally and put burdens on consumers and businesses as well as on government budgets around the world. This is certainly a perception of OPEC production cuts here in the US. However, it is also a factor in developing and emerging market countries that are suffering balance of payment problems and difficult budget situations in addition to other economic and financial challenges following the pandemic," he added.

Cekuta concluded by saying that a final point is that experience has shown again and again that market forces will win in the end.

"That reality means that supply and demand forces need to be allowed to play out to ensure needed investments in the energy sector as well as to determine prices for both suppliers and consumers. Experience has shown that allowing market forces to play out in the energy sector benefits oil producers as well as oil consumers. Efforts to confound market realities do not, in the end, redound to anyone's benefit," he said.

On July 5, Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Parviz Shahbazov met with the Secretary General of OPEC Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo in Vienna.

Discussions with OPEC SecGen revolved around steps to balance the global oil market and issues related to the development of the oil industry.

Later, Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan has commented upon the meeting, saying that "Azerbaijan has always provided the necessary support to initiatives related to regulation in the oil market", and that "cooperation within OPEC+ format satisfies both sides".

Meanwhile, as per the decision made on June 4 by OPEC+, it is anticipated that Azerbaijan will align its crude oil production to reach 551,000 barrels per day by 2024.

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