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OPEC is acting with 'noble goal' of rescuing the oil market, says organization's president

Yen Nee Lee
UAE's energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, who is also OPEC president, rejected criticisms that the organization is artificially inflating oil prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is not artificially inflating oil prices but has instead come together with the "noble goal" to rescuing the market, OPEC's current president said Monday.

"I don't think we ever said that we're targeting a price. We all remember what's happened two years ago — the market was over-flooded, and it wasn't OPEC who over-flooded the market. And no one intervened to do anything about it," Suhail Al Mazrouei, the United Arab Emirates' minister of energy and industry and OPEC president, told CNBC's Hadley Gamble.

"OPEC and non-OPEC (countries) came together, they sacrificed some of their production to try and fix the imbalance in the market. So the objective of OPEC was, I would say, a noble goal to rescue the market (from) a long over-supply," he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter last week accused OPEC of being responsible for "artificially very high" oil prices.

Oil prices rose in March rose above $70 per barrel over fears that tensions in the Middle East could escalate.

But on Monday, oil prices were mixed during Asian trading hours: Brent crude oil futures trading 0.05 percent higher while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down by 0.03 percent.