OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said the exporting group was not in the business of fixing oil prices when asked on Feb. 11 to comment on a U.S. House committee passing a bill targeting OPEC oil supply cuts.
A U.S. House of Representatives committee approved a bill on Feb. 7 that would open up OPEC to antitrust lawsuits, but it was uncertain if the measure would be considered by the full chamber.
"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 and a group of non-OPEC countries including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, 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.
"OPEC is an open, transparent organization 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."
The parties must now renegotiate a deal that would transfer Breitburn's Permian reserves to investors including Elliott and WL Ross through their participation in a $775 million rights offering.
Oil major Exxon Mobil said Jan. 31 it would create three new separate E&P companies, effective April 1, in an effort to double its profit by 2025.
The Houston-based company, which provides drilling and well completion services, plans to sell around 9.3 million shares at between $12 and $15 per share in coming days.