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United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei speaks to journalists at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, in Abu Dhabi, on Nov. 15.Aya Batrawy/The Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates energy minister said on Tuesday he saw no logic in the Gulf OPEC producer supplying more oil to global markets when all indicators pointed to a supply surplus in the first quarter of next year.

Suhail Al-Mazrouei, speaking to reporters, also described as a “state matter” moves by the United States to release crude oil from its strategic reserves in co-ordination with major Asian energy consumers in a bid to lower energy prices.

“We are looking at all technical data and all of them are suggesting we are having a surplus in the first quarter so there is no logic of increasing our contribution,” he said, adding there should also be no supply worries in the second quarter.

The minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, would meet on Dec. 2 and base decisions on “balance of supply and demand.”

OPEC+, which includes Russia, has resisted requests from Washington and other consumer nations for swifter hikes, sticking to its plan of gradually raising output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month since August.

The White House said on Tuesday that the United States would release 50 million barrels of crude from strategic reserves.

“I think the actions from countries to bring back some of their reserves is a state matter and they don’t consult with us when they increase their SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserves) or decrease it,” Mazrouei said.

The minister earlier told a business event at the Expo 2020 world fair in Dubai that the UAE has started building “the first green hydrogen plant in the Middle East” with testing currently under way. He gave no further details.

The UAE has announced plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and has said it would oversee 600 billion dirhams ($163-billion) in investment in renewable energy.

So-called green hydrogen, created by splitting water into its two components using electricity from renewable energy sources, is increasingly viewed as a fuel of the future to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

The UAE has said it aims to capture 25 per cent of the global hydrogen fuel market by 2030.

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