German Economist Reportedly Files €50 Lawsuit Against OPEC Over Allegations Of Running An 'Illegal Cartel'

A 44-year-old German economist and lawyer, Armin Steinbach, has decided to sue OPEC for damages that include 50 euros, plus interest, alleging that the group was operating "an illegal cartel," inflating the price of the gasoline and heating oil he buys, according to an opinion piece by Bloomberg energy and commodities columnist Javier Blas.

The lawsuit has been filed in the regional court of Berlin against OPEC and many state-owned oil companies, the report said, adding that the judge has asked OPEC and the companies to name their lawyers.

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Steinbach, who is a teacher of economics and law at the HEC Paris business school and was a senior civil servant at the German ministry of finance earlier, believes he has a chance.

“OPEC is a cartel. It’s an organization that offers a platform for states to agree on their oil-production quotas. It gets rid of the competitive pressures that would exist otherwise, and by doing so, they indirectly influence prices,” he told Blas.

“I hope OPEC reacts soon to the court order. Ignoring court orders is not smart strategy in dealing with German courts,” Steinbach said in a tweet.

OPEC Outlook: Last week, OPEC said in its 2022 World Oil Outlook that global oil demand is projected to increase from almost 97 million barrels a day (mb/d) in 2021 to around 110 mb/d in 2045.

Oil prices remained steady on Tuesday as supply concerns offset the demand worries emanating from China owing to its reaffirmation of Covid-zero policies. The United States Brent Oil Fund BNO closed 0.53% down on Monday while the Vanguard Energy Index Fund ETF VDE closed 1.99% higher.

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